A Critique of the ICC Prosecutor’s Case against President Bashir
With all the attention to the ICC Prosecutor’s application for an arrest warrant against President Omar al Bashir, it is remarkable how little scrutiny has been given to the contents of the Public Application itself. Frankly, it’s a mess. A few years ago I asked the undergraduate students in my class to prepare the arguments for a debate on the question of whether what was going on in Darfur was genocide or war crimes and crimes against humanity. If one of my students had presented the 14 July Public Application against Bashir, I would have sent it back for revision before I would give it a pass grade. Perhaps that is what the Pre-Trial Chamber is considering now. I hope so.
It is astonishing that, confronted with a government which during its nineteen years in power has presided over a wide range of unspeakable violations including some of the most heinous crimes under international law, the Prosecutor of the ICC should set out a prosecution case which is so riddled with flaws. If the Public Application represents the approach that the Prosecutor would take in a future trial, we face the prospect that Pres. Bashir might well be acquitted of genocide and also quite possibly the other charges too. I am not alone among Sudan’s most seasoned human rights activists and its best-informed political analysts in my astonishment at this shortcoming.
Read my critique of the Public Application on this link:bashir-public-application-critique-d6-250109