Richard SollomDecember 7, 2013 11:00
Commentary: Hampered by limited jurisdiction and insufficient funding, the International Criminal Court is making progress.
The International Criminal Court in the Hague. (Juan Vrijdag/AFP/Getty Images)
THE HAGUE – Pedaling up to the recent World Forum on my muddied fixed-gear Dutch bike, I passed a phalanx of polished German-made autos all bearing diplomatic plates. (By my count, BMW won out over Mercedes two-to-one.) We were all heading to the same venue in The Hague as representatives from 122 countries gather for the 12th annual Assembly of States Parties to the International Criminal Court (ICC). One of the mundane but critical agenda items concerns the Court’s 2014 budget and whether member states will approve a 9.5 percent increase over last year. To put the $15 million increase into perspective, that’s roughly equivalent to the cost of one BMW series 7 for each member state. Is it a good deal? You bet it is. Following back-to-back genocides in Rwanda and former Yugoslavia, the “never-again” optimism of the 1990s spawned the Hague-based permanent tribunal. Since 2002 it has indicted 36 individuals (excluding currently sealed indictments) from eight countries.