Time to Move the ICC?
This op-ed by a former ICTY and ICTR prosecutor argues that the ICC should move, at least some of their hearings and trials, to locations closer to the site of the alleged crimes. In the case of the ICC, this means spending some of the $600 million it has spent so far on facilities in Africa, where all of its current prosecutions are taking place.
The Hague. . .is more than 6,000 kilometers away. Systematically holding trials at that distance makes no sense. Criminal justice in practice is an intensively face-to-face business, regardless of characterization of the crimes. Witnesses need to be found, interviewed and often persuaded to cooperate in a process that they may not entirely trust. Consultations with local communities are indispensable to obtain a breadth of views on who is most culpable.
This seems like a reasonable argument. although I don’t think distance is the biggest problem with the ICC’s prosecutions. Still, how would a move work? Getting the ICC’s staff to leave the comfortable confines of the Hague and move to, say, Kampala, will not be an easy sell. I suppose the ICTR might have some extra space in Tanzania.