What could the International Criminal Court do about Saddam?

There have been a number of articles in the press and online about how to try Saddam. Handakte WebLAWg points to an article by Robert Leicht in Die Zeit today, with the heading

bq. Jetzt könnte man ihn brauchen – den Internationalen Strafgerichtshof
Aber weil die USA ihn nicht wollten, stehen sie nun vor dem Problem: Wie soll Saddam Hussein verurteilt werden – per Siegerjustiz, durch seine Nachfolger, seine Opfer?

bq. Now the International Criminal Court would be useful. But because the USA doesn’t want it, it now has the problem: How is Saddam Hussein to be convicted – by victors’ justice, by his successors, by his victims?

Of course, the ICC has the principle of complementarity, which means that it acts only if the country or countries that otherwise have jurisdiction refuse or are incapable. At least the USA has jurisdiction and would surely not pass up on this case. I suspect Iraq may have jurisdiction too, but it might be considered incapable, because its court system is still in disarray.

Another problem is that the ICC can deal only with crimes committed after July 2002. I suppose most of Saddam’s offences were before that date.

(See earlier entries on the ICC, from October 19th-October 24th).

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