September 16, 2019
 In 2022-Inequality in International Criminal Prosecutions

Country: Turkey
Delegate Name: Ellie Thorburn

The ICC is a court for last resort to prosecute individuals accused of genocide, war crimes, or crimes against humanity. It was created by the Rome Statute in 1998 and 120 countries are part of the statute. Those who have signed the document must agree to be prosecuted by the court. The ICC’s powers with hearing a case include if there was an offense of a party to the Rome Statute or if the perpetrator’s country is part of the Rome Statute. The ICC is currently investigating cases in Sudan, Uganda, DRC, CAR, and Keyna. The ICC was negotiated within the UN. It is not part of the UN but it does report to the UN General Assembly.
The court aims to deal with the most severe crimes of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and aggression. For the ICC to take on a case they must determine if there is enough evidence, if it’s within the court’s jurisdiction, genuine national proceedings, and serve the interests of justice and the victims. The court has to rely on states to extradite those who are indicted but this can become a problem because if a leader, for example, committed a crime but the state gives the case to the ICC until years after the crime they might not face trial. One problem within the ICC is 10 of the 13 situations under investigation are all from African countries and all of the 28 cases at the court some of them now closed and 14 of the defendants are from African nations. But don’t international crimes occur across the globe?
Turkey is not a part of the ICC. Turkey has been hesitant for years to join the ICC and the government has been under pressure from human rights groups to proceed with joining the membership. Turkey is one that has not ratified the Rome Statue. Turkey is outside of the system and its foreign policy goals require it to be inside that system. If the country is to be a member it has to sign the document but Turkey has not yet ratified it. The ICC handles genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity and aggression. Turkey has problems with these categories in the country. Crimes of aggression also concern Turkey because of the Cyprus issue.
How do we make the ICC system fairer to all countries signed to the document? Some countries should be investigated due to crimes within the countries, but so far only African countries are mainly being investigated. Turkey even though they are not signed the document would like to see changes with a fair playing field with countries globally. The country would like to see countries like Armenia, Syria, India, the US, Mexico, etc be investigated.