Many humans have robust critiques approximately the International Criminal Court (ICC). According to its supporters, who’re less numerous now than formerly, the ICC is an important tool for ending impunity, because it offers a unique mechanism for prosecuting massive violations of human rights while governments are unable or unwilling to intervene. According to a growing number of critics, the ICC is expensive and overly bureaucratic, and
its prosecutions are selective and increasingly unsuccessful. Despite many variations, each supporter and critics are united around one vital point: the public and legit face of the ICC is most effective a part of a mile large tale. Most of the political and prison motion takes place off level, and can consequently be tough to get admission to and examine.
The inner workings of the ICC present some of the methodological and moral demanding situations for researchers. In this piece, I mirror upon my own experiences getting to know the ICC, which targeted the criminal and political pathways which resulted in the ICC criminalizing wartime rape and forced marriage in instances of armed struggle. I became mainly inquisitive about understanding the sorts of roles special states, establishments and individuals performed in moving the ICC in particular directions, and what motivated them to accomplish that. This intended analyzing each legitimate records of ICC negotiations and the usage of semi-structured interviews with those who participated in those negotiations.
The respectable file of the ICC negotiations inside the Preparatory Committee (1996 to 1998) and the Preparatory Commission (1998 to 2002) consists of United Nations files, advocacy papers written by way of non-governmental establishments (NGOs), commentaries and pointers. Many of these are public and without difficulty available online, for instance through the ICC Legal Tools Database, UN databases which include the Official Document System of the United Nations and the United Nations Dag Hammarskjöld Library, and the internet site of the Coalition for the International Criminal Court. However, the professional report focuses on the participation and contributions of states and does not record which NGOs participated in the ICC negotiations. It additionally does no longer specify which people inside the country and non-kingdom delegations played key roles and why. Instead, states and businesses are portrayed as speaking with one voice, which does no longer do justice to the contributions of specific people and ignores disagreements inside delegations. This already shows that the reputable report files outcomes, however no longer what added them approximately.
But professional files aren’t without a doubt incomplete. They also can be misleading, due to the fact that they perpetuate stereotypes of international regulation as the area of states – of states as unified actors, and of international regulation as a difficult to understand system which takes location behind closed doors. Any try to set the picture directly needs to encompass the folks that have been behind those closed doorways, or at the least close by. However, the idea of criminal studies that is knowledgeable by way of theory and consists of empirical research is still met with skepticism with the aid of some felony pupils. They argue that doctrinal techniques are “critical for the vitality of the criminal system and of more social value than an awful lot esoteric interdisciplinary felony scholarship”.
Using empirics to analyze the regulation
While I goal to make a case for empirical socio-felony research, it is critical to understand that even with a purpose to best straighten the picture to some extent in preference to tell the whole tale. The interviews I conducted for my Ph.D. studies were confined with the aid of the unfinished statistics approximately the actors who participated inside the ICC negotiations. Still, I sampled participants of country and non-country delegations on the basis of analyzing legit files. Additionally, studies members advised different names who could also contribute. While this countered the unfinished file, it nevertheless did now not shed a whole lot mild on questions of character contributions past those of the interviewees. Too a great deal time had exceeded for the reason that negotiations occurred. Memory had faded and private data were surpassed on or destroyed.
I addressed the unfinished records approximately the inducement of people, nation delegations and NGOs to come to be worried and their expertise of wartime rape and pressured marriage by sharing a list of general themes, as opposed to questions, with the studies members before the interviews. Together with the semi-dependent nature of the interviews, this gave me extra flexibility and the interviewees the possibility to add what they saw as applicable for the studies place and that won’t be covered within the respectable report. For instance, the interviews highlighted that Colombia became concerned inside the ICC negotiations of wartime rape and pressured marriage because it changed into aware that it might be investigated through the ICC within the future. Therefore, it had an interest in shaping the definitions of crimes its residents are probably accused of – something I did no longer realize moving into the interviews. The interviews additionally explained that the Colombian delegation’s expertise of wartime rape become informed by Colombia’s countrywide crook law at that point and the crime of ‘carnal get admission to’, which protected rape. Even though there has been no definition, rape turned into understood as penetration through the penis. Lastly, the interviews emphasized that English became the official language of the ICC negotiations. However, simplest a minority of the Colombian delegates spoke English. Therefore, a number of their proposals had to be delivered by using one of the delegation’s advisors.
Additionally, the interviews highlighted that preceding girls’ rights and international justice paintings on the Vienna and Beijing conferences or on the ad hoc tribunals for previous Yugoslavia and Rwanda had influenced individual women’s rights activists and women’s enterprises to come to be concerned inside the ICC negotiations on wartime rape and pressured marriage as a part of the Women’s Caucus. One research participant pressured that lady survivors of conflict violence have been also concerned in the ICC negotiations as members of NGOs in addition to through grassroots companies that labored with them and requested them for feedback on proposals that an NGO wanted to put forward. The interviews indicated that, while the Women’s Caucus normally worked in a democratic and cooperative fashion, some members superior themselves as leaders and substantially shaped the Caucus’ role.
The above shows that interviews, like all modes of knowledge production, are subjective. The researcher’s and studies player’s backgrounds impact the studies projects, procedures, techniques and effects and we ought to reflect upon them. Consequently, everyone studies project best tells certainly one of many memories and it must be supplied hence.
Working with the file of the ICC negotiations highlighted that it isn’t always impartial and objective. Arguably, it became motivated with the aid of state-centric traditions of global law-making and focuses on results in preference to procedures. It tells considered one of many testimonies of the ICC negotiations. Any studies assignment that targets to set up an opportunity, more complete account of law-making tactics needs to be deliberately designed to consist of empirical studies. However, researchers have to be conscious that even empirical research is not likely to provide a complete solution. It needs to be recounted that the records constructed in empirical studies are also constructed for a specific reason and encouraged by the researcher and studies contributors. It with a bit of luck fills in some blanks, but it’s going to nevertheless no longer be the whole tale.