Last night I had the pleasure of participation in a presentation at the Council on Foreign Relations given by Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. As conveyors' of the Washington Working Group on the ICC we had helped him set up a few meetings on the Hill. Our Program Coordinator, Abby Long helped out tremendously in this effort.
My friend Mark Goldberg at the UN Dispatch wrote an excellent piece on Ocampo's key points.
I want to emphasize two points that Mark mentioned and one that he didn't:
First, the true relevance of the Court is its global impact. Ocampo said that:
"Even before any ruling in the Lubanga case, the issue of child recruitment gained new momentum, triggered debates in remote countries like Colombia or Sri Lanka and child soldiers were released in Nepal. The Special representative of the UN Secretary-General on children in armed conflicts immediately factored in such potential and used us as a tool to campaign around the world, and secure even more releases." This is an example of how the Court can help to prevent crimes. While the ICC will only deal with a few cases, its "shadow" extends far beyond them and the 110 nations that are Parties to the Rome Statute.
Second, political leaders sought by the ICC, such as Sudanese President Al-Bashir, are increasingly being shunned by other leaders and nations. According to Ocampo: