JPIL Vol 4 Issue 1 2013 - Article 2

SELF-REFERRALS CONTRA OBJECTIVES OF INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Conrad Nyamutata

Abstract
The mechanism of self-referrals at the International Criminal Court (ICC) has been a source of considerable debate within international criminal justice scholarship. At the centre of the discourse is the ever-problematic interplay between law and politics. The Rome Statute establishing the court proclaims an intention to effectuate retribution, deterrence and serve the ‘interests of justice’. This Article assesses the self-referral mechanism against these penal objectives. The central argument of this Article is that the political pragmatism that has so far characterised self-referrals militates against the philosophical foundations and the object and purpose of the Rome Statute establishing the court. The preclusion of self-referring state actors from investigations contravenes the objectives of retribution, deterrence and the ‘interests of justice’ spelt out in the founding statute.


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