Monday, February 22, 2016

Ford: Us and Them: The Unequal Allocation of Resources in Domestic and International Criminal Investigations

Stuart Ford (The John Marshall Law School) has posted Us and Them: The Unequal Allocation of Resources in Domestic and International Criminal Investigations. Here's the abstract:

The crimes typically investigated by the International Criminal Court (ICC) are at least as grave and complex as the most serious mass atrocity crimes investigated by states. Yet a comparison of the investigative resources available to the ICC and the investigative resources committed to domestic investigations of mass atrocities shows that national governments are willing to devote vastly more resources to domestic investigations. There is also a stark difference in the way states talk about national and international investigations. The rhetoric of national responses to mass atrocities usually involves a commitment to “make every effort,” “pursue every lead,” and “use all means at our disposal” to bring those responsible to justice. In contrast, while most states are generally supportive of the idea of the ICC, their rhetoric often changes dramatically when it comes to discussions about funding the Court. Some of the states that have been most supportive of the Court in their public statements have vigorously opposed attempts to increase the ICC’s budget to adequately fund its investigations.

This Article draws three principal conclusions from its analysis. First and most importantly, the ICC is enormously under-resourced compared to domestic mass atrocity investigations. Second, this lack of resources is at least partly to blame for some of the difficulties the ICC has encountered. The ICC would probably be more successful if it had more resources. Third and finally, some of the ICC’s strongest supporters, like Britain and France, are being hypocritical and discriminatory by opposing any increase in the ICC’s investigative capacity while simultaneously devoting nearly unlimited resources to their own domestic mass atrocity investigations.