Accountability for ISIS atrocities : is the International Criminal Court a viable prosecutorial option?
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant is a jihadist militant group. The members of this militant group have committed criminal acts of unspeakable cruelty. These staggering criminal conducts are documented by the United Nations, international human rights organisations, and media. Besides, the group itself gives first-hand information through social media and its magazine. Having witnessed the atrocities committed by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the United Nations Security Council affirmed that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s conduct in Syria and Iraq is a threat to international peace and security. Therefore, the media and various role players have called for the intervention of International Criminal Court. This research paper analyses whether the International Criminal Court is a viable prosecutorial option to account the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant members for their crimes. For the Court to be a viable prosecutorial avenue, it must have a jurisdiction. Accordingly, this research paper critically examines whether the International Criminal Court has subject matter, personal and/or territorial jurisdictions to try the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant perpetrators. The study concludes that although the criminal conducts by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant members constitute crimes under the Rome Statute, the Court, however, has limited jurisdictional reach over the perpetrators. It is submitted that with a limited and fragmented territorial and personal jurisdictional reach over the perpetrators, the Court is not a viable prosecutorial avenue.