Most of history's worst killers have gone unpunished. Josef Stalin said, "A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic." The ICC represents a strong and growing commitment by the international community to end impunity for atrocity crimes in the 21st Century.The ICC in The Hague. Max Koot/ICC-CPI.
After violent armed conflicts or other massive assaults on civilian populations, many countries remain mired in cycles of violence and retribution. Prosecuting individuals for atrocity crimes can:
These benefits can be advanced by the mere existence of the ICC. States will be encouraged to investigate and prosecute atrocity crimes because, if they do not, the ICC may find it necessary to pursue its own investigations and prosecutions.
The ICC is designed as a court of last resort. The Court must defer to national proceedings - whether or not they lead to prosecution - except if there is no functioning judicial system or the national proceedings are intended to shield a suspect from prosecution.
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