The ICC’s Afghanistan Decision

April 16, 2019
icc

A Pre-Trial Chamber at the International Criminal Court (ICC) has rejected the Prosecutor’s request, filed nearly 18 months ago, to open an investigation of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Afghanistan, including of allegations that U.S. forces and the CIA committed acts of torture there.

Read (and hear) from faculty about this recent decision.

Read Alex Whiting's recent piece in Just Security, The ICC’s Afghanistan Decision: Bending to U.S. or Focusing Court on Successful Investigations?

"In a surprise decision, a Pre-Trial Chamber at the International Criminal Court (ICC) has rejected the Prosecutor’s request, filed nearly 18 months ago, to open an investigation of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Afghanistan, including of allegations that U.S. forces and the CIA committed acts of torture there. In light of recent threats from both National Security Advisor John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to retaliate against the ICC if such an investigation proceeded, and the U.S government’s recent cancellation of the ICC Prosecutor’s visa to travel to the U.S., there is already a perception that the Court caved to U.S. pressure. An examination of the larger context of the case, however, and the ICC’s current challenges, suggests that this view is incomplete. In fact, this decision will likely come to be seen as the beginning of a broader effort by the judges and the Prosecutor to orient the Court’s very limited resources toward those investigations where there exists some meaningful prospect of success."

Listen to Sushma Raman, Carr Center's Executive Director.

Listen to Professor Kathryn Sikkink on the decision.


Listen to Lecturer Douglas A. Johnson on the decision.