Indiana Law Journal

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2015

Publication Citation

90 Indiana Law Journal 829 (2015)


The principle of complementarity in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court anticipates that perpetrators of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity will be tried in domestic courts unless there is no state with jurisdiction willing or able to do so. This Article examines the situation where a state might be willing to engage in meaningful local justice but temporarily lacks the capability to do so due to the effects of the conflict. It argues that where the state submits a detailed proposal to the International Criminal Court (ICC) outlining the steps necessary to gain or regain the ability to prosecute those most responsible for the atrocities within two years, it should be allowed time to do so. The capacity building that occurs during this time is vital to promoting and ensuring stability throughout the region and beyond, and it will allow the Court to focus its efforts and resources on those cases for which there is no other forum.