The United States, the International Criminal Court, and Afghanistan: The rupturing of mutual accommodation

Kevin Robb, Shan Patel

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    In September 2018, then U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton delivered a speech that ushered in a new, more aggressive era of U.S. foreign policy vis-�-vis the International Criminal Court (icc). Washington's disapprobation over the icc's interest in the alleged crimes of U.S. personnel in Afghanistan has been seen as the cause for this change. While this is certainly partly true, little attention has been paid to Fatou Bensouda's prosecutorial behaviour as an explanatory factor. Using the framework from David Bosco's Rough Justice, this article demonstrates that a distinct shift in prosecutorial behaviour occurred when Fatou Bensouda took over as Chief Prosecutor. In contrast to Luis Moreno Ocampo's strategic approach, avoidant of U.S. interests, Bensouda's apolitical approach directly challenged the U.S. This shift in prosecutorial behaviour ruptured the 'mutual accommodation' that previously characterised the icc-U.S. relationship and, in turn, produced the shift in U.S. policy that now marginalises the Court.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-40
    JournalInternational Criminal Law Review
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Cite this