The International Criminal Court


A chara, – A recent editorial (“The Irish Times view on the US attack on the International Criminal Court: A new low”, June 15th) noted the explicit attempts of the United States administration to sabotage the work of the International Criminal Court.

President Donald Trump has issued an executive order sanctioning ICC officials involved in investigating alleged US war crimes committed in Afghanistan.

A coalition of 174 US legal experts recently wrote that the administration’s actions are “wrong in principle, contrary to American values, and prejudicial to US national security”.

These are undoubtedly trying times for international criminal law. The court is further dogged by criticism of being too focused on Africa and for providing poor prosecutorial return for the resources invested.

This makes the announcement of the shortlist for the next prosecutor of the ICC even more interesting. The shortlist of four contains Fergal Gaynor, an Irish lawyer and graduate of Trinity College Dublin, who is currently reserve international co-prosecutor at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. Mr Gaynor has distinguished himself as an international criminal lawyer, working across the spectrum of ad hoc and hybrid tribunals set up to try cases arising out of the most horrific conflicts of the last 50 years. Of the four on the shortlist, he is by far the most experienced in international criminal law and so stands a strong chance of appointment.

Successful appointment of Mr Gaynor will further cement Ireland’s credentials as a country whose global influence far outweighs our small size. As multilateralism fractures in favour of self-interest, it is heartening to see Ireland and Irish citizens standing up around the world for the rule of law and global cooperation. – Is mise,



Dublin 4.