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Carsten Stahn: 'New ICC prosecutor can bring new momentum'

On Wednesday 16 June 2021, Karim Khan was sworn in at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. Experts say this is no easy time to join the ICC.

Carsten Stahn

British lawyer Karim Khan (51) will have a daunting caseload including the Philippines war on drugs, possible war crimes by the US in Afghanistan, and the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Khan will also have to contend with the fact that the ICC is still not recognised for example by the US, Israel, China and Russia. 

There are certainly no easy times for the ICC, Carsten Stahn told AFP news agency. 'The ICC is in a crucial phase, it has faced criticism for not being as effective as states have wished.’ Nevertheless, Khan could make a difference says Stahn. 'Khan could bring a new momentum. He has a window of opportunity to amend the functioning of the court.'

The ICC’s investigation into the Israel-Palestinian conflict in Gaza in 2014 promises to be particularly contentious’, says Stahn. 'The ICC might be seen as an actor which is not fully impartial in the context. It's going to be very difficult to navigate the difficult expectations with regard to the engagement of the ICC in this case.'

Stahn was cited extensively, including:

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