Now showing items 1-20 of 1657

    • An Expressive Rationale for the Thematic Prosecution of Sex Crimes

      deGuzman, Margaret M. (2012)
      This essay examines the philosophical justifications for giving priority to sex crime prosecutions at international courts. Despite the increased focus on prosecuting sex crimes in recent years, no effort has been made, either at the tribunals or in the scholarship, to develop such justifications. Those who prosecute and write about sex crimes generally assume that international courts should focus particular attention on such crimes. Commentators sometimes point to the practical and institutional benefits of thematic sex crime prosecutions. Such prosecutions can, for example, increase an institution’s capacity to address sex crimes by developing relevant investigative and prosecutorial expertise and expanding the applicable law. But a prior normative question must be addressed: why should international courts give priority to sex crimes when allocating scarce resources? I argue that the philosophical grounding for thematic sex crime prosecutions must be found in the underlying purposes of international criminal courts. While the moral justifications of international prosecutions are widely disputed, there are four primary contenders: retribution, deterrence, restoration, and expression. In the first part of the essay, I explain why none of the first three theories precludes giving priority to sex crime prosecutions. In fact, each theory supports such prosecutions, at least under some circumstances. I then explain that the strongest justification for giving priority to sex crimes is found in the expressive rationale for international criminal law. In other words, if international criminal law aims to express global norms it should often seek to promote the norms against sex crimes even at the expense of other important norms. The need for such special emphasis lies in the history of under-enforcement of sex crimes in both national and international for a as well as in the discriminatory expression inherent in the crimes themselves.
    • Amicus Curiae Observations of Professors Robinson, deGuzman, Jalloh and Cryer

      Robinson, Darryl; deGuzman, Margaret M.; Jalloh, Charles; Cryer, Robert (2013-10-09)
      This is an amicus curiae brief, submitted to the International Criminal Court Appeals Chamber with permission of that chamber, in the case of Prosecutor v Laurent Gbagbo. The brief raises concerns about unnecessarily stringent approaches to crimes against humanity, as was arguably shown in certain aspects of the Gbagbo Adjournment Decision. The brief argues, inter alia, that ‘multiple’ must not be conflated with ‘widespread’, that ‘policy’ must not be conflated with ‘systematic’, that a policy need not be explicit or formally adopted, and that policy can be inferred from the implausibility of the crimes being unconnected individual action. The brief offers national and international jurisprudence highlighting that ‘attack’ and ‘policy’ are not onerous thresholds. The Appeals Chamber decided not to address those issues in that appeal, which was quite plausible and appropriate given its other findings and the scope of the appeal. Happily, many of the concerns raised and solutions proposed in the brief have been addressed and reflected in subsequent ICC cases, including the Katanga trial chamber judgment and the Gbagbo confirmation decision.
    • Choosing to Prosecute: Expressive Selection at the International Criminal Court

      deGuzman, Margaret M. (2012)
      The International Criminal Court (ICC), an institution in its infancy, has had occasion to make only a relatively small number of decisions about which defendants and which crimes to prosecute. But virtually every choice it has made has been attacked: the first defendant, Thomas Lubanga, was not senior enough and the crimes with which he was charged-war crimes involving the use of child soldiers-were not serious enough; the Court should have investigated British soldiers for war crimes committed in Iraq; the ICC should not be prosecuting only rebel perpetrators in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo; the Court's focus on situations in Africa is inappropriate; the Court has focused insufficient attention on gender crimes; and so on. Much of the debate about such selection decisions centers on whether the ICC, and particularly its prosecutor, are improperly motivated by political considerations. Critics charge that selection decisions are inappropriately political, while the Court's current prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, counters that his decisions are apolitical-that he is simply implementing the law enunciated in the ICC's statute. Most recently, some authors have suggested that the prosecutor's role is inevitably political and should be acknowledged as such. The participants in this debate rarely define what they mean by "political," nor will this Article attempt such definition. Instead, this Article seeks to reframe the debate about the ICC's selection decisions by shifting from the current focus on the boundaries between "legal" and "political" criteria to a constructive dialogue about the most appropriate goals and priorities for the Court. The ICC's core selectivity problem is that the Court lacks sufficiently clear goals and priorities to justify its decisions. States created the ICC to adjudicate "the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole," but they gave it a budget that enables only a handful of prosecutions per year. Persons charged with implementing the Court's broad mandate-its prosecutor and judges-must thus select a few cases from among thousands. Yet the international community has provided the Court virtually no guidance about what goals it should seek to achieve through the cases it selects, beyond the vague mandate to strive to end impunity for "the most serious crimes."
    • Gravity and the Legitimacy of the International Criminal Court

      deGuzman, Margaret M. (2008)
      References to gravity are threaded throughout the Rome Statute's provisions relating to jurisdiction and its exercise. These references reflect the drafters' philosophical vision for the Court, but fail to provide the institution with clear legal guidance. Part II begins by examining the relevant statutory provisions, exploring ambiguities in the text and suggesting how it should be interpreted. It then canvases the legislative history for indications of the drafters' intent and evaluates the approaches to gravity adopted thus far by the Court's judges and Prosecutor. The analysis in this Part demonstrates that gravity plays two essential and distinct roles for the ICC. First, it serves as a statutorily required "threshold" below which the Court should not exercise its jurisdiction. The Prosecutor must consider this threshold in selecting situations and cases and the judges are required to reject cases below the threshold when the issue is properly raised. The second role relates to the Prosecutor's discretion. In addition to considering the gravity threshold, the Statute's emphasis on gravity strongly suggests the Prosecutor should consider relative gravity in selecting among situations and cases above the threshold. The task of implementing the concept of gravity, both as a threshold and as a relative consideration in the exercise of discretion, requires an understanding of the theoretical bases for gravity's prominent place in the ICC regime. Part III therefore turns to the justifications for the gravity threshold and discretionary relative gravity considerations, rooting them in the Court's moral and sociological legitimacy. The study of institutional legitimacy is a vast and rapidly growing field of scholarly inquiry. This Article does not seek to contribute to that literature, but rather employs extant accounts of legitimacy to demonstrate the relationship between gravity and the ICC's actual and perceived legitimacy. The Article argues that gravity acts to legitimize the Court in two interrelated ways: the gravity threshold helps to ensure the moral legitimacy of the Court's exercise of jurisdiction, and the Prosecutor's discretionary use of relative gravity strongly affects perceptions of the Court's legitimacy. These observations about gravity's role in legitimizing the ICC lead to some important conclusions in Part IV about how the Court should operationalize gravity in its work. With regard to gravity threshold determinations, a relatively straightforward factor-based analysis is suggested. The Article sets forth the relevant factors and argues that only cases scoring at the bottom of the gravity spectrum on all factors should be excluded based on the gravity threshold.
    • The International Criminal Court’s Gravity Jurisprudence at Ten

      deGuzman, Margaret M. (2013)
      This Essay analyzes the Court’s early jurisprudence interpreting the gravity threshold for admissibility. It argues that the threshold, while useful in garnering support for ratification of the Rome Statute, now seems destined to play a minor role in determining the ICC’s reach. While there are multiple possible explanations for this development, an important doctrinal cause identified in the jurisprudence is that the gravity threshold for admissibility is in tension with the Rome Statute’s provisions regarding jurisdiction. At least with regard to the admissibility of cases, the judges have concluded that interpreting the gravity threshold to exclude certain types of defendants or crimes from the Court’s reach would amount to an impermissible revision of the Court’s jurisdiction. To avoid this outcome, the judges have developed a flexible multi-factor approach to the gravity threshold that enables them to justify admitting virtually any case within the Court’s jurisdiction. The Essay concludes by arguing that, in light of the tension between admissibility and jurisdiction, the judges are right to relegate the gravity threshold to a minor role in determining the cases the Court adjudicates. To the extent the judges seek to limit the ICC’s reach, they should do so by interpreting the Court’s jurisdictional provisions directly rather than through the back door of admissibility.
    • When Are International Crimes Just Cause for War?

      deGuzman, Margaret M. (2015)
      At the 2005 World Summit, states unanimously acknowledged their responsibilities to protect people from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity, and declared their readiness to use collective force to that end if necessary. This endorsement of the “responsibility to protect” (RtoP) represents an important step on the road to developing a norm of legitimate humanitarian intervention. However, there is a critical flaw in the way states framed RtoP at the World Summit: they equated the just cause threshold for humanitarian intervention with the commission of international crimes. This was a mistake because just cause for intervention should depend on the gravity of actual or threatened harm, not on whether that harm constitutes a crime, let alone an international crime. This Article argues that there are three deleterious consequences of framing RtoP in this way: (1) it excludes situations of catastrophic, unintentional harm where intervention may be morally justified; (2) it impedes efforts to prevent all levels of harm by requiring a finding that crimes are occurring or threatened before RtoP applies; and (3) it threatens to undermine the international criminal law regime by encouraging people to think of international crimes exclusively as “atrocities” and by obscuring the difference between humanitarian intervention and aggression.
    • Book Review: Mohamed Elewa Badar, The Concept of Mens Rea in International Criminal Law: The Case for a Unified Approach

      deGuzman, Margaret M. (2014-05)
      In The Concept of Mens Rea In International Criminal Law: The Case for a Unified Approach, Mohamed Badar makes an important contribution to the literature through a comprehensive review of mens rea law in many of the world’s national legal systems and at international criminal courts and tribunals. Professor Badar demonstrates that in all of these contexts, theorists, legislators, and judges have struggled mightily to identify the appropriate mental states to justify the infliction of punishment. He also illuminates the historical trajectory of the concept beginning as far back as the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi.
    • Harsh Justice for International Crimes?

      deGuzman, Margaret M. (2014)
      As the International Criminal Court (ICC) begins to sentence defendants for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide, it must determine how much punishment is appropriate for these crimes. The initial sentencing decisions are especially important because they will serve as reference points for future sentences at the ICC and will likely influence the sentences of other international courts. Few international norms exist to guide the ICC. The punishment practices of other international courts have been inconsistent, ranging from very mild to quite severe. National norms are even more divergent. Punishments considered appropriate in some systems are deemed inhumane in others. Nonetheless, the limited commentary on the appropriate punishment severity for international crimes largely speaks with one voice: international justice should be harsh. This Article takes issue with the call for harsh international punishment. Despite distracting appeals to punishment theory, such calls ultimately rest on the intuition that international crimes are so serious as to require harsh punishment. That intuition is misleading because at least in some cases, the rhetoric and narratives surrounding international crimes inflate perceptions of their seriousness. While judges exercising discretion cannot completely avoid the influence of intuitions, they should be cautious in applying them and should seek to develop norms to guide their sentencing decisions. Such norms should be rooted in the human rights regime in which international criminal courts are embedded. Attention to human rights norms will generally counsel leniency, and not harshness.
    • Amicus Curiae Observations of Professors Robinson, Cryer, deGuzman, Lafontaine, Oosterveld, and Stahn

      Robinson, Darryl; Cryer, Robert; deGuzman, Margaret M.; Lafontaine, Fannie; Oosterveld, Valerie; Stahn, Carsten (2018-06-17)
    • Amicus Curiae Brief of Professors Robinson, deGuzman, Jalloh and Cryer on Crimes Against Humanity (Cases 003 and 004)

      Robinson, Darryl; deGuzman, Margaret M.; Jalloh, Charles; Cryer, Robert (2016-05-17)
    • Book Review: Larry May and Shannon Fyfe, International Criminal Tribunals: A Normative Defense

      deGuzman, Margaret M. (2018-06-08)
      In "International Criminal Tribunals: A Normative Defense," Larry May and Shannon Fyfe set out to demonstrate that international tribunals provide “the fairest way to deal with mass atrocity crimes in a global arena.” To do so, the authors take up a wide range of critiques that scholars and others have leveled at international criminal tribunals and argue that although most have some validity, none are fatal to the enterprise of international criminal justice. The authors’ analysis of the various critiques yields both normative arguments about the value of international criminal tribunals and suggestions about how the institutions can be improved. In advancing their normative claims and supporting their prescriptive suggestions, the authors draw on a deep well of philosophical and theoretical concepts, including legitimacy, fairness, effectiveness, and efficiency. The result is a book that not only canvases and addresses the broad array of critiques leveled at international criminal tribunals but adds significantly to the rather scant literature on the philosophical justifications for international criminal justice.
    • Inter-National Justice for Them or Global Justice for Us?: The U.S. as a Supranational Justice Donor

      deGuzman, Margaret M. (2016)
      U.S. policy concerning international justice, particularly at the ICC, involves case-by-case support when such support is in U.S. national interests. This policy signals that the U.S. considers itself a supranational justice donor rather than a member of a global justice community committed to enforcing shared values. This approach to international criminal justice both inhibits global justice efforts and undermines the U.S. claim to global moral leadership. The next U.S. administration should assert full membership in the global justice community by joining the ICC and providing unequivocal support for all efforts to address serious international crimes.
    • New Rules or More Global Governance?

      deGuzman, Margaret M. (2018)
      In her book "How Everything Became War and War Became Everything: Tales from the Pentagon," Rosa Brooks argues for “new rules and institutions to manage the paradoxes of perpetual war.” This short Essay suggests that to meet the challenges of the modern war paradigm it is at least as important to expand existing global governance structures as to develop new rules. Such expansion must resist the trend toward centering security and maintain a focus on peace and justice.
    • Complementarity at the African Court

      deGuzman, Margaret M. (2019-05)
      The proposed African Criminal Court, which will form part of the African Court of Justice and Human and Peoples’ Rights, is designed to be complementary to national courts in Africa, as well as to sub-regional courts with criminal jurisdiction. This book chapter analyzes the complementarity provision of the statute of the proposed court, which largely replicates article 17 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC). It seeks to elucidate the likely relationship between the proposed African Court and the ICC, as well as between the African Court and national and regional courts in Africa. The chapter then addresses the normative question of how the proposed African Court should interact with these other institutions. While a great deal of theoretical work remains to be done in this area, the chapter suggests that as regional and sub-regional criminal courts such as the proposed African Court emerge, they should not be viewed as forming a jurisdictional hierarchy, with national courts at the top and the ICC at the bottom, but rather as providing a menu of adjudicative options. Jurisdictional priority should be decided by balancing a range of factors from practical considerations such as ease of obtaining evidence and custody, to defendants’ rights. Particular attention should be paid to the interests of each institution’s constitutive community in adjudicating a particular case. In this way, national, regional, and international criminal courts can truly complement each other.
    • Defining Crimes Against Humanity: Practicality and Value Balancing

      deGuzman, Margaret M. (2020)
      Since crimes against humanity were first defined in the Charters of the International Military Tribunals at Nuremberg and for the Far East, various international, hybrid and national institutions have adopted definitions that differ in important respects. The International Law Commission’s draft articles are the latest definition, using language that is almost identical to the definition in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. This article explains that decision, as well as the few divergences between the draft articles and the Statute. Defining crimes against humanity involves balancing the value of respecting state sovereignty against that of protecting human rights, and the values of consistency and clarity against those of breadth and flexibility. It argues that in adopting the draft articles, states will affirm the balance among these values that was struck in Rome, but that both definitions contain sufficient flexibility to permit new balances to be found as global values evolve.
    • The International Criminal Court is Legitimate Enough to Deserve Support

      deGuzman, Margaret M.; Kelly, Timothy Lockwood (2019)
      In Allen Buchanan’s essay, "The Complex Epistemology of Institutional Legitimacy Assessments," 33 TEMP. INT’L & COMP. L. J. 323, 323 (2019), he suggests that the legitimacy of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is weak – perhaps so weak that it is unworthy of support. This response argues that Buchanan underestimates the ICC’s legitimacy by misconstruing the institution’s chief justifying function and under-valuing the benefits the institution can provide. Unlike domestic courts, the ICC’s main function is not to uphold the rule of law by deterring crimes, but rather to express global norms in the hopes that over time those norms will permeate the fabric of global society. In light of the complexity of this mandate, and the ICC’s relatively limited resources, it is unsurprising that the institution has faced challenges to its legitimacy in its early years. But these are early years, and we argue that the ICC meets at least to the minimum threshold of legitimacy required to justify giving it support.
    • The Biden Administration Should Signal its Commitment to the Rule of Law by Rescinding the Anti-ICC Executive Order on Day One

      deGuzman, Margaret M. (2021-01-08)
      The Biden administration should rescind President Trump’s executive order attacking the ICC immediately upon taking office. The new administration will have many urgent action items and it may not be immediately apparent why it should give priority to revoking an order that undermines an institution to which the United States is not a party. This comment explains that the importance of this action extends beyond the illegality of the order and the harm it is causing, to the urgent need to signal that the United States is recommitted to the rule of law. By perverting a tool intended to protect people and deter human rights, and using it instead to attack an institution devoted to those aims, the Trump administration has undermined the rule of law in the United States and expressed its disregard for the global rule of law. When President Trump declared ICC efforts to investigate crimes by U.S. personnel to be a “national emergency,” he abused the discretion afforded presidents to keep the United States safe, essentially placing himself above the rule of law. Moreover, by attacking the judicial independence of the ICC, President Trump is seeking to undermine global rule of law. In immediately rescinding the executive order, President Biden will not only undo an illegal action by his predecessor, he will signal to the world a renewed U.S. commitment to the rule of law.
    • Who Bears the Greatest Responsibility for International Crimes?

      deGuzman, Margaret M. (2021)
      This short symposium contribution discusses the concept of greatest responsibility for international crimes in the context of Charles Jalloh's excellent book on the legal legacy of the Special Court for Sierra Leone.