No Badges, No Bars: A Conspicuous Oversight in the Development of an International Criminal Court Academic Article uri icon


  • If the ICC is truly to become a world criminal court, then this body should begin to clothe itself with all the traditional components of a criminal justice system. A successful international criminal court cannot be dependent on the political will of so-called cooperating states. Crimes that fall within the jurisdiction of the ICC should be subject to prosecution by the court, which requires that there exist some body or agency capable of enforcing indictments and arresting suspected individuals. A court is but one piece of a greater body of criminal justice. In addition to the need for contemporaneous and coercive police power, it is necessary that a permanent world criminal court be able to send its convicts to a facility for incarceration. The reliance on ad hoc placements has not yielded acceptable results for either the ICTY or ICTR. A permanent criminal court will require a permanent prison facility for placement of its condemned. This author would like to see the utilization of regional facilities to achieve greater access to relatives and counsel, access to similar language, religious and cultural ideals, and reliable access to human rights tribunals to place their complaints.The Rome Statute provides us with a simple blueprint for prosecuting individuals accused of the most egregious international crimes. Before international criminal law outgrows this simple design, we should hasten to correct the shortcomings that are both obvious and urgent.

published proceedings

  • Texas international law journal

author list (cited authors)

  • Penrose, M. M

complete list of authors

  • Penrose, Mary Margaret

publication date

  • May 2003