Luis Moreno Ocampo, the first Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), has spent his career seeking justice in the face of adversity. He believes communities must be governed by law, not political considerations, and that one’s community is, “the world, not just my neighborhood or my country.”
Born in 1952, Moreno Ocampo grew up in an elite family in Argentina. As a young prosecutor, Moreno Ocampo prosecuted the military Junta trials in Argentina, bringing to justice the military commanders who oversaw the Dirty War. Moreno Ocampo’s belief in law superseded some of the most important relationships in his life. Members of Moreno Ocampo’s family disowned him as he pursued justice against the military elite.
Keeping a constant eye on corruption and human rights violations, Moreno Ocampo has led a distinguished career by believing first in the law – not afraid to challenge senior military officials or even governments. As the chief prosecutor of the ICC, Ocampo and his team look into “the most serious crimes of international concern,” which means genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
Moreno Ocampo came under intense scrutiny and international resistance when he pursued justice against genocide and issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President al-Bashir, marking the first time a warrant has been issued for a head of state.
About the International Criminal Court
The ICC is the first permanent, treaty-based, international criminal court to hold perpetrators of crimes of concern to the international community accountable. The efforts at Nuremberg and Tokyo by the international community to investigate war crimes and punish war criminals initially inspired the formation of the ICC.
Though international condemnation of impunity was manifest in the work of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, there was general agreement that a permanent independent criminal court was necessary.
The ICC is governed by the Rome Statute, which became effective on July 1, 2002 after ratification by 60 countries. The United States is still not a member of the ICC.
Review the Rome Statute here.
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