Luis Moreno Ocampo was appointed as the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal court in the year 2003. The International Criminal Court is governed by the Rome Statute, whose mandate is to end atrocities. One of the policies that the prosecutor has strived to attain is positive complementarity. This serves as one of the three judicial strategies, alongside doctrine and preservation of the statutes within the realms of the customary international law.
Prosecutor Ocampo’s strategy is to have a collaborative approach with all prosecutors and judges in the world. This is meant to ensure that all the information relating to certain suspects is presented in time in order to facilitate a speedy trial. Within this strategy, there is networking will all the relevant institutions as well as sharing some tasks in the pursuit of evidence against an individual (Takemura 4). This was clearly demonstrated during the investigations into the war torn area of Ituri in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The information which prompted the prosecutor to probe for investigations was brought to his attention by different groups of concerned individuals. The victims’ groups, in conjunction with some non-governmental organizations, came up with relevant information about the condition in the country. This was part of his policy’s objective. The collaborative initiative involved different groups in order to make investigations efficient as well as provide the relevant information towards opening trial to all the involved individuals.
In Congo’s case, the prosecutor established a strategy that was aimed at bringing all the involved individuals to trial at The Hague. The arrangement of the perpetrators of these atrocities is from those at the highest level, to those carrying out the activities on the field. By following information from all the institutions of justice, the prosecutor was making true his complementarity strategy. The prosecutor was seen to emphasize on interdependencies between the local and the International Criminal Court.
The cooperation between the prosecutor’s office and the local judicial system was reflected when prosecutor Ocampo requested the National Investigative Authorities to pass any relevant information to his office that would illustrate the involvement of individuals in the funding of the war. The policy of complementarity is therefore a strategy which the prosecutor has always been striving to achieve (Takemura 2). Through cooperation with the relevant local institutions, the prosecutor’s office receives all the relevant information enough to open trial.
This policy is very effective in filling the impunity gap since it encourages genuine national proceedings and relies on the international networks that are established between the office of the prosecutor and the local prosecutors and judges. Through this cooperation, there is no chance of limited prosecutions, which in most cases are twisted by powerful people. When there is no complementarity, only the low-level perpetrators of crime are arrested while the mighty and those involved in funding are left untouched.
The internetworks that are created through the complementarity strategy helps speed up any investigations into heinous acts committed by individuals in a certain country. This policy creates an interdependent scenario and hence removes any fear of a biased trial. Unlike other independent prosecutions, the ICC prosecutor has to depend on the cooperation of other judicial bodies at the local level in order to comprehensively establish a case against any perpetrator.
This policy perspective of having interdependencies and creating positive complementarity has seen effective prosecutions of some perpetrators especially from Africa, who include Charles Taylor, and Thomas Lubanga, in connection with rapes, murder, and genocide activities in their respective countries. The issue of interdependencies and cooperation of the affected state with the International Criminal Court has enabled prosecutor Ocampo to gather up enough evidence to win a case.
Takemura, Hitomi. A Critical Analysis of Positive Complementality. 2007. Web. 14 April, 2011.