The Reckoning—The Work of the International Criminal Court

Saturday 16 September 2009


Amnesty International USA Group 178: Irvine, in conjunction with Orange County for Darfur


Showing of The Reckoning (film website | PBS site)

The Reckoning Film Still Filmmakers Pamela Yates (director), Paco de Onis (producer) and Peter Kinoy (editor) followed chief International Criminal Court Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo and his team of investigators and prosecutors for three years, across four continents, to document their work. At every turn, Moreno-Ocampo and crew faced danger, hostility and resistance.

Three great powers—China, Russia and the United States—are not members of the Court. China opposes the ICC arrest warrant indicting Sudanese President al-Bashir, and Russia remains skeptical about it. The US fears that its own citizens may one day be brought before the court.

We follow the investigators in their work in Colombia, where they help prosecutors fighting to investigate abuses committed in the fight against political violence ravaging the country; in the Congo, where the ICC issues an arrest warrant for Thomas Lubanga Dyilo; and in the Sudan, where international law and realpolitik complicate the case of president al-Basir. In Uganda, some of the leaders of the Lord’s Resistance Army (a rebel group) attempt to circumvent the arrests by promising negotatiations and a cease-fire.

Nothing less than a real–life thriller, The Reckoning keeps you on the edge of your seat with two riveting dramas—the prosecution of three cases of unspeakable crimes against humanity and the ICC’s fight for its own survival and effectiveness. Senior Trial Attorney Chung reveals the stakes that still hang in the balance when she wonders if the ICC will emerge as an effective institution for justice or simply a symbolic one, a “shadow” of what it was meant to be.

“I started out thinking that The Reckoning would be about the ICC's cases and trials, like any good crime thriller," says director Pamela Yates. "I quickly realized I had to expand the film's vision to include the far-reaching effects the ICC was having at the local level, with the tremendous amount of controversy as well as hope that its investigations were causing. The Court itself became the protagonist of The Reckoning, and all the cinematic elements were developed in realizing this idea.”

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This event is a collaboration with P.O.V., PBS’ award-winning nonfiction film series.


Irvine Ranch Water District
15600 Sand Canyon Avenue, Irvine, California 92618-3102 (directions)


Saturday 19 September 2009, 19:00 – 21:00 (7:00 PM – 9:00 PM)

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Movie Trailer


From the movie’s website

Movie Trailer

Trailer (mp4 - 39 mb)


Parking: There is ample free parking space behind the building.

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What is the ICC?

ICC logo

The International Criminal Court is the permanent judicial body established by the Rome Statute (1998) to prosecute individuals accused of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. The ICC was established as a court of last resort to prosecute individuals that are not being judged in their own country. The ICC is different from the International Court of Justice in that the IJC deals with disputes between states and the ICC prosecutes individuals. The ICC’s jurisdiction is crimes committed after 1 July 2002. Unlike the International Court of Justice, which hears disputes between states, the ICC handles prosecutions of individuals. The court’s jurisdiction extends to offenses that occurred after July 1, 2002.

As of July 2009, there were 110 State Parties to the Rome Statute, with Chile slated to join the list on 1 September 2009. A further 39 states have signed but not ratified the treaty, and several states that have not signed the treaty have indicated their intention to accede to it. The United States has declined to participate.

What is the ICC doing?

Investigations can be initiated on the basis of a referral from any State Party, or from the United Nations Security Council. The Prosecutor can initiate investigations on his own, on the basis of information on crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court, received from individuals or organisations.

Three State Parties have referred situations: Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic. The U.N. Security Council has referred the situation in Darfur, Sudan—a non–State Party.

  1. Uganda: The Prosecutor v. Joseph Kony, Vincent Otti, Okot Odhiambo and Dominic Ongwen. Five warrants of arrest have been issued against the top five members of the Lord’s Resistance Army. They are accused of attacks against civilians including murder, abduction, sexual enslavement, mutilation, and forced conscription of children.
  2. Democratic Republic of Congo: The Prosecutor v. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo; The Prosecutor v. Bosco Ntaganda; and The Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui. Lubanga Dyilo, Bosco Ntaganda are accused of forced child conscription. Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui are accused of forced child conscription, attacks on civil populations, pillaging, sexual slavery and rape.
  3. Darfur, Sudan: The Prosecutor v. Ahmad Muhammad Harun (“Ahmad Harun”) and Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rahman (“Ali Kushayb”)The Prosecutor v. Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir; and The Prosecutor v. Bahr Idriss Abu Garda. Ahmad Harun and Ali Kushayb are accused of contributing to attacks on civilians, including torture, rape and other inhumane acts. Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir’s warrant of arrest lists five counts of crimes against humanity (such as murder, torture and rape) and two counts of war crimes (attacks on a civilian population, and pillaging.) Bahr Idriss Abu Garda is accused of murder, attacks against peacekeepers, and pillaging.
  4. Central African Republic: The Prosecutor v. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo. Mr. Bemba is accused of two counts of crimes against humanity (murder and rape) and three counts of war crime (murder, rape, pillaging.)

more information here