Delegate Name: Bethany Narducci
The International Criminal Court (ICC) is the court with the power to try individuals for the four core international crimes: genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and aggression. The ICC was created by the Rome Statute, which established the court’s jurisdiction abilities and stated that the ICC could only make rulings on those four crimes when they occurred in states that were unable or unwilling to prosecute the cases themselves. This treaty has been ratified by 123 countries, most of which are in Africa or South America, and notably do not include the Republic of China, the United States, or the Arab Republic of Egypt. The ICC has been accused of inequality in the cases that it prosecutes, with a harsher focus on crimes committed in Africa than crimes committed by countries that are not members of the treaty.
The Arab Republic of Egypt signed the Rome Statute in 2000 but has no plans to ratify it. By not ratifying the statute, Egypt remains unbound on the judicial actions taken by the ICC but cannot undermine the purpose and objects of the treaty until it officially declares that it will not be a State Party to the treaty. Egypt has the means necessary to prosecute crimes committed within its boundaries and feels that the ICC does not have much legitimate political power within Egypt. In 2013, the Muslim Brotherhood tried to impose ICC ruling over Egypt, but this was inevitably rejected, coming from a party rather than a state. Egypt will continue to limit ICC authority in cases regarding its citizens due to its belief that the ICC should only handle countries with poor legal systems.
Egypt, along with its other non-signing allies, believes that states should not have to cooperate as closely with ICC proceedings. The inequality in international prosecution is an issue, but one that would be better resolved through further enforcement of the acts of crimes committed by a country outside of the treaty toward a Party State of the treaty. States should not be required to cooperate with ICC proceedings if the state has not signed the Rome Statute. By not signing, these countries demonstrate they do not wish to be subject to ICC jurisdiction. Egypt did not ratify the Rome Statute because Egypt can deal appropriately with the crimes that the ICC has attempted to take authority over. The ICC is encroaching upon the freedom that Egypt decided not to give up. To address the perceived inequality in international criminal prosecutions, the ICC should focus on balancing out the location of its prosecutions, focusing more on the states that have ratified the treaty than those that have not.