The video produced by the NGO Invisible Children, released earlier this month, about Ugandan rebel warlord Joseph Kony is now the most viral video in the history of the internet. The goal of the video is to make Kony, accused of kidnapping and indoctrinating children into his rebel force, the Lord’s Resistance Army, “famous,” in the hope that fame will lead to calls to bring him to justice as a war criminal.
However, making Kony “famous” may not be enough.
The world has been attempting to address what to do about war crimes and war criminals for over 500 years. In 1474, an international tribunal was convened to prosecute Sir Peter von Hagenbach for crimes against “God and man” during his military occupation of a civilian community in Austria.
Until the establishment of the International Criminal Court in 2002, no court existed to prosecute states, leaders of states, or individuals for crimes committed against citizens in times of war and peace.