The politics of justice

  • March 1, 2017
The politics of justice

Georgiana Epure took part in a recent podcast on the future of the International Criminal Court.

 A Gates Cambridge Scholar has taken part in a podcast discussion on the future of the International Criminal Court.

Georgiana Epure took part in the Declarations: The Human Rights Podcast last week. The podcast is a new project of the Centre for Governance and Human Rights Student Group at the University of Cambridge. 

Georgiana [2016] is doing an MPhil in International Relations and Politics and is the founder of The Responsibility to Protect Student Journal.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) was established in 2002 to prosecute individuals for committing genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. However, only Africans have been prosecuted by the court so far, leading some African states to criticise the court for a perceived bias against Africans.

Georgiana was one of three speakers to address questions such as why the ICC is being accused of bias, whether the accusation is accurate and what the future is for international justice in Africa.

Her MPhil research looks at the 'making of' the responsibility to prosecute and its political implications.

During the podcast Georgiana spoke of how the ICC is perceived by some as racist and a reflection of neoliberal power politics. Many African countries had experience of conflicts and may have different ideas about justice, she stated. Moreover, the threat of prosecution at the ICC might mean war criminals had little incentive to relinquish power.

She outlined instead the case for transformative justice and distinguished between different types of rights. The ICC focused on the violation of civil and political rights, but guilt was “not necessarily individualised”. Structural inequalities might instead be to blame.

Georgiana added that one way of addressing the perceived bias of  the ICC was to openly acknowledge that it is situated in a political world and its decisions have political consequences. "One way to solve the legitimacy crisis [of the ICC] is to acknowledge that it is political," she said.

Another issue she discussed was that cases are only referred to the ICC as a last resort when national governments were unable or unwilling to prosecute. The ICC is trying to work with national governments to create capacity at the national level so that cases would not have to be referred for its consideration.

The full podcast can be listened to here.

Picture credit: Wikipedia.

Georgiana Epure

Georgiana Epure

  • Alumni
  • Romania
  • 2016 MPhil International Relations & Pols
  • Christ's College

Georgiana Epure is a fellow at the Open Society Justice Initiative, in London, working on human rights advocacy and strategic litigation, with a focus on implementation of judgments and countering digital authoritarianism. Prior to her current role, Georgiana was a trainee at the European External Action Service and an intern at the International Criminal Court.

She is a passionate advocate for women's rights and as the President of the Association for Liberty and Gender Equality (Romania) she leads the association's policy and legal advocacy projects.

Georgiana's academic research has focused on responses to gross human rights violations. She holds an MA in Social Science Research Methods from the University of Leeds, an MPhil in International Relations and Politics from the University of Cambridge, and a BA in International Relations from the University of Leeds.

Previous Education

University of Leeds

Latest News

Weekend of Research 2021 focuses on major global challenges

Thirteen Gates Cambridge Scholars at the annual Gates Cambridge Weekend of Research last weekend in panel discussions on the environment and migration, global justice and democracy and Artificial Intelligence and technology. The subjects covered ranged from legacies of oppression and revolution in Myanmar to a call to radically scale down gold mining. The event was […]

New app aims to help women through the menopause

A new app which helps women to manage the menopause was soft launched last month in collaboration with Mumsnet. Stella is the first product by Vira Health, a company which was co-founded in 2019 by Gates Cambridge Scholar Rebecca Love. Stella offers women relief from the most common symptoms of menopause, including sleep disturbances, hot […]

A global perspective on gender and health

The middle of a global pandemic may not seem the ideal time to move country with a new baby, but Johanna Riha [2011] took up her new role as a research fellow at the United Nations University International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH) in Malaysia during the pandemic and moved to Kuala Lumpur around a […]

Scholars share 2021 Bill Gates Sr. Prize

Two Gates Cambridge Scholars are sharing the 2021 Bill Gates Sr. Prize in recognition of their outstanding research and social leadership. Emma Soneson and Maša Josipović have been selected for the prize which was established by the Gates Cambridge Trustees in June 2012 in recognition of the late Bill Gates Sr.’s role in establishing the […]