Source: (2010) Res Publica. 16:209–225.

With its express intention ‘to put an end to impunity’, the International Criminal Court (ICC) faces a substantial challenge in the shape of conditional amnesties granted in future national truth commissions (TCs)—a challenge that invokes fundamental considerations of criminal justice ethics. In this article, I give an account of the challenge, and I consider a possible solution to it presented by Declan Roche. According to this solution the ICC-prosecutor should respect national amnesties and prosecute and punish only those perpetrators who have refused to cooperate with the TC. I argue, however, that this compromise is untenable. As a general rule, if we justify the ICC on grounds of deterrence we should not accept conditional amnesties granted in national TCs. (Author's abstract).