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Dictator Dislikes: The ICC

We pointed out in The Dictator's Handbook that one particularly ignominious end for any tyrant is sitting in a holding cell in The Hague, waiting to be judged by The International Criminal Court (ICC). From the dictator's point of view, this is marginally better than the UN, but being called to the dock by any insipid-sounding extranational institution has got to be humiliating. In the book we highlight the case of Slobodan Milosevic, who committed suicide while being judged by a forerunner of the ICC in The Hague. We all know what the rise of the ICC means for dictators already in power, but what about proto-dictators?

Although the ICC is increasingly important as an arbiter of legally accepatable behavior by heads of state, recent events suggest that it may be a check against (or at least a nagging worry for) warlords looking to rise to power. In the good old days, you were only scrutinized after you seized power; now, what you do on your way up is being noted, catalogued, and filed away for a court room down the line. Step by bloody step, the road to dictatorship just got a little less lonely. You might imagine a manacled tyrant saying, after enjoying only a brief tenure as president, 'I had no idea everything I did was forever!'  

If it truly is, then that's good news for the rest of us.  

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