Luis Moreno-Ocampo: The International Criminal Court

Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), works to bring the rule of law to bear against perpetrators of mass violence today. This film and the accompanying activities explore the challenges that the ICC faces in applying the rule of law to ongoing atrocities.

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Lessons and Activities

  1. Create an identity chart for Luis Moreno-Ocampo. Identity charts are graphic tools that help students consider the many factors that shape who we are as individuals and as communities. These charts can be used to deepen students’ understanding of themselves, groups, nations, and historical and literary figures.
  2. What words and phrases did you use? If you created an identity chart for Raphael Lemkin, you might compare the two. Do they share anything in common? What are some of the personal consequences that they have had to face because of the choices they have made in their professional lives?
  3. How did Moreno-Ocampo’s experiences on the Junta trial in Argentina help to prepare him for his work at the International Criminal Court?
  4. The International Criminal Court is based on the Rome Statute which was passed in 1998 by 120 countries. The ICC is a court of last resort. It addresses the gravest crimes, including genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.  The film uses the case of Darfur, which was referred to the ICC by the Security Council, to show the challenges that the ICC faces in prosecuting these crimes.  What challenges does Moreno-Ocampo face? How does he try to overcome them?
  5. Why is enforcement a problem for the International Criminal Court? What are some of the issues that are raised in the Darfur case? Can you think of other examples in perhaps other cases?
  6. What did Moreno-Ocampo believe that law can do for the international community? What benefits did he see it providing? Compare the obstacles faced by Raphael Lemkin in his efforts to create and ratify the Genocide Convention with the obstacles Moreno-Ocampo had to overcome. How are they similar? What differences matter?
  7. In December 2014, the ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda dropped the investigation of "alleged war crimes in the western region [of Darfur], where the government has been trying to crush an insurgency since 2003."1 How does this add to our understanding of the dilemmas that Ocampo faced?

    1"Omar al-Bashir Celebrates ICC Decision to Halt Darfur Investigation," The Guardian, December 14, 2004.

Related Facing History Resources

<p><strong>Teaching&nbsp;"The Reckoning": Understanding the International Criminal Court</strong> explores questions of judgment by looking at the creation of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Ever since the Nuremberg Trials, individuals around the world have imagined how an international judicial body could be used to prevent genocide, crimes against humanity, and other violations of civil and human rights. In 2002, over 100 nations made this vision a reality with the establishment of the ICC.

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