- November 26, 2021
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Context: International Criminal Court appeals judges have cut by two years the sentence of an Islamic radical who pleaded guilty to overseeing the destruction of historic mausoleums in the Malian desert city of Timbuktu, the court announced Thursday.
Timbuktu, French Tombouctou, city in the western African country of Mali
It is located on the southern edge of the Sahara, about 8 miles (13 km) north of the Niger River. The town is the capital of the Tombouctou Region, one of the eight administrative regions of Mali.
It is located on the southern tip of the Sahara desert where there is nothing but thousands of miles of barren desert to its north.
Al-Qaida-linked rebels occupied the fabled Saharan city of Timbuktu in 2012 and enforced a strict interpretation of Islamic law under which they destroyed the historic mud-brick tombs they considered idolatrous.
Al Mahdi was leader of one of the “morality brigades” set up by Timbuktu’s new rulers.
International Criminal Court
- The International Criminal Court (ICC), located in The Hague, is the court of last resort for prosecution of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.
- It is the first permanent, treaty based, international criminal court established to help end impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community.
- Its founding treaty, the Rome Statute, entered into force on July 1, 2002.
- Funding: Although the Court’s expenses are funded primarily by States Parties, it also receives voluntary contributions from governments, international organisations, individuals, corporations and other entities.
Composition and voting power:
- The Court’s management oversight and legislative body, the Assembly of States Parties, consists of one representative from each state party.
- Each state party has one vote and “every effort” has to be made to reach decisions by consensus. If consensus cannot be reached, decisions are made by vote.
- The Assembly is presided over by a president and two vice-presidents, who are elected by the members to three-year terms.
- It does not have the capacity to arrest suspects and depends on member states for their cooperation.
- Critics of the Court argue that there are insufficient checks and balances on the authority of the ICC prosecutor and judges and insufficient protection against politicized prosecutions or other abuses.
- The ICC has been accused of bias and as being a tool of Western imperialism, only punishing leaders from small, weak states while ignoring crimes committed by richer and more powerful states.
- ICC cannot mount successful cases without state cooperation is problematic for several reasons. It means that the ICC acts inconsistently in its selection of cases, is prevented from taking on hard cases and loses legitimacy.