Thursday, February 23, 2012

Is the ICC and International Justice Racist?

A few days ago, Courtenay Griffiths, Charles Taylor's defence lawyer at the Special Court for Sierra Leone sitting in the Hague injected a-not-so-new but previously unspoken claim against the ICC, and international criminal justice in general:that the ICC is racist. this adds a new strand to the the accurate, yet not universally accepted criticism of international justice as selective justice.

Mr Griffiths, is reported to have stated as follows:

“If one goes down to the Old Bailey… on any given day if you troll around the court, you’ll find that roughly ninety percent of all the defendants on trial in that Court are, guess what? Black. … What we’re seeing in terms of international law currently is the replication of that association between criminality and black-ness which one sees at the national level not only here in the United Kingdom but in any significant Western country with a black population.”

This claim is already generating debate among scholars. In response to this claim - Mark Kersten of JusticeinConflict Blog, one of the more informative blogs on the subject, has taken the issue head on. Kersten's rather problematic argument that while the ICC can rightly be criticized for selectivity but not as racist because African states joined willingly has rightly provoked vigorous responses.

Read the blog post here, and be sure to read the comments at the end!

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