Martin Kenney examines recent calls for an international anti-corruption court
Former UK Labour government minister and now Peer Peter Hain recently urged the UK to back the creation of an international anti-corruption court (IACC). Lord Hain suggested that the proposed court would run analogous to the International Criminal Court in the Hague, allowing for the prosecution of corrupt heads of state.
His call is a noble one. The problem with kleptocracy is that very few countries have the mechanisms to deal with it effectively. Captured states are not able to pursue the wrongdoers who have captured them. This lack of deterrent is at the root of most prolific crimes. Corruption is no different.
If an IACC with the power to investigate and prosecute grand corruption is to be established, then it must be able to punish those responsible. Otherwise, it will be a toothless tiger. This is where Lord Hain’s notion may have its limitations.