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Should President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan Be Charged and Arrested by the International Criminal Court?: An Exchange of Views

From: Genocide Studies and Prevention
Volume 4, Number 3, Winter 2009
pp. 329-353 | 10.1353/gsp.0.0030



The recent activity at the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague concerning the case of President Omar al-Bashir and the crisis in Darfur has set off a firestorm of commentary amongst international lawyers, human rights activists, genocide scholars, experts on Sudan, and journalists, among others. Some argue that the ICC prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, was correct in charging al-Bashir with genocide and crimes against humanity; others believe that he had little to no grounds for doing so. Furthermore, while some see the prosecutor’s charges of genocide as questionable, at best, and highly counterproductive, if not dangerous, at worst, others see the genocide charge as positive and a move toward ending impunity for genocide. The same is largely true of the arrest warrant that the ICC has issued for President al-Bashir’s arrest. Dr. Alex de Waal, an Oxford-trained social anthropologist, a fellow of the Global Equity Initiative at Harvard University, and the director of Justice Africa in London; and Dr. Gregory H. Stanton, a Yale University-educated lawyer and University of Chicago-trained cultural anthropologist, professor of Genocide Studies and Prevention at George Mason University, president of Genocide Watch, and immediate past president of the International Association of Genocide Scholars, kindly accepted GSP editor Samuel Totten’s invitation to debate the merits and demerits of the prosecutor’s charges and the ICC’s issuance of the warrant.

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