My thesis sought to address the controversy over international institution, weighing more into Realists versus Liberalists debate on this matter. Realists are skeptical about the prospect of meaningful international cooperation, while Liberalists see the building of international institutions as a way to alleviate the dangerous consequences of anarchy.

I examined one of the most recent and controversial institutions, the International Criminal Court (ICC). Following the Nuremberg and Tokyo tribunals, the international community recognized the need to establish a permanent international court to deal with grave breaches of crimes against peace, war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. The argument is that the perpetrators of such crimes that deeply shock the conscience of humanity have gone unpunished.[1]

The ICC provides a new means of trying to punish individuals, and thereby deter future cases of, gross criminal activity. At this early stage in its development, ICC is effectively realizing its purpose; it gives voices to non-state actors like NGOs, regional actors and IGOs; it regularizes ways of putting voices in international action; it provides information to other stakeholders, and it names and shines the perpetrators as the way to put it to international attention. Hence, the ICC gives meaning to the cautious optimism that inspires liberal claim.

My purpose, then, was to investigate the effectiveness of the ICC in the cases of Darfur, Sudan, and the DRC, to show that if we think of effectiveness as voice and shame, the ICC can be effective.

The selection of these two cases based on some considerations. The referral of DRC situation to the ICC was indeed the first case of ICC, brought by the President of DRC; itself is a state party to the Rome Statute. President Kabila’s decision to refer the case is to externalize the political costs of prosecution onto ICC. Criminal justice offers a powerful mechanism to discredit enemies and reshape the domestic political landscape, a basic foundation to move forward for DRC in the aftermath of African world war.

The referral of Darfur’s case made by the United Nations Security Council through Resolution 1593 adopted on March 31, 2005. The arrest warrant indicted President Omar Al Bashir, the first sitting head of state to be indicted by the ICC, with crimes of war, crimes against humanity and genocide. This is also the first referral of UNSC to the ICC, the only way to deal with human rights atrocities in Darfur since Sudan is not state party to the Rome Statute. Moreover, in Darfur’s case, a more systemic approach should be developed within a conflict resolution so as to advance improvements on impunity and reformed governance.

Finally, from the knowledge of the cases, I argued that naming and shaming techniques work. Answering to the question, “how important publicity to the power of the ICC”, I would argue that publicity provides transparency, a groundwork to more vigorous and powerful diplomatic, economic, and military punishment for the perpetrators. Second, it also develops sense of legitimacy in the eyes of member states. Accountability serves goals for the international community as a whole. International crimes violate the most central norms of humanity, and all states should have a moral and political interest in seeing an effective remedy. Ratner 2009 argued,

Accountability, whether through prosecutions or otherwise, also serves a preventive purpose. It can signal to future violations of human rights that their actions will not simply be forgotten in some political compromise. The exact form of accountability is less important than the existence of some process for stigmatizing the offender, aiding the victim, informing the society, and ensuring that political settlements and transitions take account of human rights abuses. All were made possible through naming and shaming (370).


[1] Judgement of the International Military Tribunal, Trial of German Major War Criminals: Proceedings of the International Military Tribunal Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany, Part 22, saying that, “Crimes against international law are committed by men, not by abstract entities, and only by punishing individuals who commit such crimes can the provisions of international law be enforced.”