Times are hard for the international criminal court. It is nine years since it was established with notions of ending impunity for “unimaginable atrocities that deeply shock the conscience of humanity”. The arrest in Libya last week of four members of the court’s defence team, who were visiting Muammar Gaddafi’s son, Saif al-Islam, marked a new low in the court’s history.
But with only one conviction in its history, an exclusively African caseload, and relations with other African states also at breaking point, the court’s reputation leaves much to be desired.
Into the fray steps Fatou Bensouda, the Gambian who on Friday becomes chief prosecutor – the second in the court’s history and the first African woman.