The Reckoning

PBS Premiere: July 14, 2009Check the broadcast schedule »

Links & Books


Skylight Pictures
For more on the making of The Reckoning and the team that created it, visit the filmmaker's website. For 25 years Skylight Pictures has been committed to producing artistic, challenging and socially relevant independent documentary films on issues of human rights and the quest for justice. Through the use of film and digital technologies, they seek to engage, educate and increase understanding of human rights amongst the public at large and policy makers, contributing to informed decisions on issues of social change and the public good.

In tandem with The Reckoning: The Battle for the International Criminal Court, this website will be the core of a global social network for international justice to combat the entrenched culture of impunity, implementing a multiplatform citizen engagement strategy to build an active global constituency supporting the justice mandate of the ICC, to prosecute perpetrators, no matter how powerful, of crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide.


International Criminal Court

Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC)
This coalition includes 2,500 organizations around the world working in partnership to strengthen international cooperation with the International Criminal Court (ICC); ensure that the ICC is fair, effective and independent; makes justice both visible and universal; and advance stronger national laws that deliver justice to victims of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. The group's website offers a comprehensive list of publications, fact sheets and government reports pertaining to the ICC. In particular, the CICC, in conjunction with the Nuremberg Human Rights Centre, produced a report in 2007 that highlights the history of the ICC, beginning with the Nuremberg Trials, the structure of such courts and an overview of criminal charges the ICC has made: "The Road to the International Criminal Court" (PDF).

The American Non-Governmental Organizations Coalition for the International Criminal Court (AMICC)
This coalition of non-governmental organizations is committed to achieving full United States support for the ICC and U.S. ratification of the ICC's Rome Statute through public education and awareness campaigns. The AMICC promotes grassroots activities to advocate U.S. support of the court. Their website offers information on the relationship between the United States and the ICC, a calendar of advocacy events and ways for organizations to join their campaign.

Global Policy Forum: US Opposition to the International Criminal Court
This watchdog organization, which monitors policy making at the United Nations, has gathered a set of articles and links explaining why the United States is opposed to joining the ICC.

International Criminal Court
The Court's website is available in both English and French. It features streaming video of the trials, information on pending cases and detailed information on how the court operates. The site also features the text of the Rome Statute as well as the information on the Court's current involvement with situations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic Uganda and Sudan.

United Nations
The official website for the United Nations contains general information on international law and a fact sheet addressing common questions about the ICC.

Rome Statute -- Simplified Version (PDF)
The Rome Statute was adopted in 1998 and the International Criminal Court was established in 2002. As of this date, 109 countries have signed onto the statute.

U.S. Department of State: U.S. Policy Regarding the International Criminal Court (PDF)
The 2006 Congressional Research Service Report for Congress regarding U.S. policy towards the ICC details U.S. government opposition to joining the ICC.

American Society of International Law: U.S. Policy Toward the International Criminal Court: Furthering Positive Engagement (PDF)
This report discusses the U.S. policy regarding the ICC from the initial debates in Rome up until now. It also suggests ways for the U.S. government to move forward towards involvement in the ICC.


Los Angeles Times: "Judging the ICC"
This op-ed piece, written as a collaborative effort by the members of the editorial board, lays out the cases for and against U.S. participation in the ICC. Taking a neutral stance, this piece looks at the major concerns regarding the court, and offers pros and cons on both sides of the issue. (March 16, 2009)

Crimes of War Project: "Why the United States Is So Opposed"
This in-depth article from the Crimes of War Project online magazine analyzes why the United States has opposed the ICC. Author Paul W. Kahn argues that resistance to the ICC serves as a symbol for the battle between law and politics in the United States. (December 2003)

The New York Times: "Gambian Defends the International Criminal Court's Initial Focus on Africans"
The majority of cases tried by the ICC have involved African nations. This New York Times article, which focuses on the perspective of a current ICC judge, discusses the reasons behind the focus on this region, including the fact that a majority of the nations that are full members of the court are African states.(February 26, 2007)


An Introduction to the International Criminal Court. William A. Schabas (Cambridge University Press, 2007)
The history of the ICC is explored, from the cases that were prosecuted and ones that weren't. The book also touches on the difficulties created by U.S. opposition to the Court.

Fictions of Justice: The International Criminal Court and the Challenge of Legal Pluralism in Sub-Sahara Africa.
Kamari Maxine Clarke (Cambridge University Press, 2009)
This book details how human rights issues are contextualized in rule of law movements and how justice is negotiated in everyday practices.

Defending the Society of States: Why America Opposes the International Criminal Court and Its Vision of World Society. Jason Ralph. (Oxford University Press, 2007)
Addressing theoretical issues raised by the ICC, Ralph analyzes America's opposition to the court, and posits that the United States as a democracy is unwilling to renegotiate their social contract to reflect their changing position in an increasingly global society.

ICC Cases -- Countries

BBC News: Country Profiles
The website for the BBC offers comprehensive country profiles of Sudan, Colombia, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The profiles provide an instant guide to the history, politics and economic background of each country, including background on key institutions and audio and video clips from BBC archives. There are additional resources, including Q&As, timelines and photo essays that focus on the conflicts in each nation.

Radio Netherlands Worldwide
The website for this Dutch world broadcaster and multimedia organization contains profiles of the African countries discussed in the film. An eclectic mix of articles and audio recordings provides a good overview of the human rights issues facing each nation.


The International Criminal Court and Darfur: Questions and Answers (PDF)
This report from the Coalition for the ICC and the International Federation for Human Rights explores in-depth questions regarding the ICC in Darfur. This exploration takes a critical approach to ICC intervention in Sudan and provides comprehensive answers to issues regarding President al-Bashir, the genocide and the process of executing an arrest warrant.

NPR: Sudan's Bashir Faces Arrest on Darfur Charges
The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur. (March 4, 2009)

The New York Times: Slideshow: "Fears of More Misery in Darfur"
The Sudanese government's expulsion of aid organizations from the region of Darfur has displaced civilians, putting the lives of millions of people at risk. This photo slideshow from The New York Times is a graphic portrayal of the misery in Darfur. (March 22, 2009)

NOW: Understanding Sudan
In 2005, Now on PBS provides a backgrounder on the ongoing crisis in Sudan and a photo essay of the conflict. (March 13, 2005)


Darfur, A New History of a Long War, Julie Flint and Alex de Waal (London: Zed Books, 2008)
This book traces the origins, organization and ideology of the infamous rebel groups loose in Darfur.

Darfur: Twenty Years of War and Genocide in Sudan. Leora Kahn. (New York: Power House Books, 2008)
This is a collaboration between three humanitarian organizations and five of the world's top photo agencies, which create a book filled with haunting images and testimonials that displayed the desperate and severe reality of the Sudan crisis.


YouTube: Background to Conflict with LRA and Joseph Kony
This video from VanishingRites' YouTube channel provides background on the conflict in Uganda and the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). Through first-hand interviews with former LRA soldiers, this piece offers a short yet comprehensive depiction of the war that has been devastating northern Uganda for the past 20 years.

Time: "Uganda's Unfinished Peace"
This article chronicles the failed peace treaty signing between the Ugandan government and the LRA after Joseph Kony, leader of the LRA, failed to appear. The LRA has continued to instigate tensions, expanding their attacks to include regions outside of Uganda, as well as demanding ICC charges against their leadership be dropped. (April 2008)


First Kill Your Family: Child Soldiers of Uganda and the Lord's Resistance Army. Peter Eichstaedt. (Chicago: Lawrence Hill Books, 2009)
American journalist Eichstaedt gathers compelling interviews with victims, perpetrators, government officials and non-governmental actors to tell this story about the crimes committed by the LRA.

Democratic Republic of Congo

POV: Lumo
Lumo Sinai was just over 20 when marauding soldiers attacked her in the eastern Congo. A fistula, a medical condition common among victims of violent rape, rendered Lumo incontinent and threatens her ability to bear children. Rejected by her fiancé and cast aside by her family, she awaits reconstructive surgery. (POV 2008)

Time: "The Deadliest War in the World"
The article points out that humanitarian aid for Congo totaled approximately $9.40 per person last year, as compared to the tsunami relief fund, which supplied approximately $550 per person. Congo is referred to as "among the very worst places on earth." (May 28, 2006)

Newsweek: "Congo's Wounds of War: More Vicious than Rape"
Although widespread systematic rape among civilian populations was no secret in Congo's civil war, it was only after the conflict was officially over that health and human rights experts began to understand just how prevalent rape, which often resulted in fistulas, had been. This report from Newsweek indicates that, unfortunately, attacks on civilian women -- and fistulas -- are not a thing of the past. (June 1, 2007)

The New York Times: Video: "Mass Killings in Eastern Congo"
This video piece captures the massive killings, kidnappings and violence that Congolese civilians face daily, despite their proximity to UN peacekeepers. And although rebel forces in eastern Congo say they are not responsible for mass killings that took place in November, this footage indicates otherwise. (December 11, 2008)


All Things Must Fight to Live: Stories of War and Deliverance in the Congo. Bryan Mealer. (London: Bloomsbury, 2009)
A raw and vivid first-hand account of an AP correspondent's experience covering the conflict in the Congo for four years.

The Congo Wars: Conflict, Myth, and Reality. Thomas Turner. (London: Zed Books, 2007)
A lifelong scholar on the Congo places the conflict in historical and sociopolitical context.


Time: "In the Jungle with FARC": Photo Essay
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the left-wing guerilla army in Colombia, is responsible for the majority of kidnappings, thousands of deaths and the forced displacement of millions of civilians in that country. This photo essay from Time offers an insightful depiction of this violent rebel army, which is funded largely by the illegal drug trade.

The New York Times: "Court Looks at Supporters of Rebels in Colombia"
This short article by Simon Romero describes the reasoning behind the ICC's decision to investigate Colombia. The FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia), which has been waging war for 40 years, is finding continuous and growing support from networks outside of Colombia -- a major impetus behind the ICC's intervention. (August 15, 2008)

Human Rights Organizations

Amnesty International
Amnesty International is a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights to be respected and protected for everyone. The organization's website provides updated news and country profiles regarding Amnesty International's campaigns and ways for people to get involved as activists in the fight for justice.

Doctors Without Borders
As one of the most highly respected medical-aid NGOs (non-governmental organizations) in the world, Doctors Without Borders has access to health statistics that illustrate the overall situations in war-torn countries. The publications section of the organization's website includes annual reports covering the regions discussed in the film, and is also searchable by country and by issue.

Crimes of War Project
Established in 1999, the Crimes of War Project is a collaboration of journalists, lawyers and scholars dedicated to promoting the understanding of international humanitarian law among journalists, policymakers, and the general public. Their website features expert analysis, photo essays and a timeline listing the treaties, conventions and tribunals that make up the legal framework that currently governs armed conflict. A 2003 article attempts to explain the Bush Administration's opposition to the ICC and analyzes what those reasons reveal about how the United States views itself and it's role in the world in the 21st century.

The Enough Project aims to end genocide and crimes against humanity in the world. Their website encourages people to learn about war crimes and take action to help to stop atrocities that are happening now, and those that might occur in the future. Their current focus is on conflicts happening in Sudan, Congo, Uganda, Chad, Somalia and Zimbabwe.

Facing History and Ourselves
Founded in 1976, Facing History and Ourselves is an international educational and professional development nonprofit organization with a mission to engage students of diverse backgrounds in an examination of racism, prejudice and anti-Semitism in order to promote the development of a more humane and informed citizenry. As a partner to The Reckoning, the group's mission is to cultivate tolerance and prevent violations of human rights.

Human Rights Watch
Founded in 1978, Human Rights Watch (HRW) is a human rights organization composed of researchers who conduct fact-finding investigations into human rights abuses around the world. HRW has a beautiful website that offers a number of features including the Rights Watch podcast, photo essays, videos and special features attached to the reports they issue, including this recent feature on Congo.

The Center for Media, Culture and History at New York University
This collaborative project draws on faculty from the Africana studies program and the departments of anthropology, cinema studies, comparative literature, history and religious studies. It addresses issues of representation, social change and identity construction embedded in the development of film, television, video and new media worldwide. In addition, it focuses on the role that these media play in shaping our perceptions of history and culture; in forging individual, collective, national and transnational identities; and in mediating the direction and character of social change.

Save Darfur Coalition
Around the country and across the globe, the Save Darfur Coalition is inspiring action, raising awareness and speaking truth to power on behalf of the people of Darfur. Working with world leaders, the organization is demanding an end to the genocide. The website provides ways for activists to participate in their campaign and take action.

The tagline for the WITNESS website is "See it. Film it. Change it." They help people to use media to transform their personal stories of abuse into powerful tools for justice, public engagement and policy change. Their website features the Hub, a media archive that contains many videos related to international justice and social issues.

International Justice

Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR)
Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movement participants in the American South, the CCR is a nonprofit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change. CCR uses litigation proactively to advance the law in a positive direction, to empower poor communities and communities of color, to guarantee the rights of those with the fewest protections and least access to legal resources, to train the next generation of constitutional and human rights attorneys, and to strengthen the broader movement for constitutional and human rights.

Global Kids
Global Kids is committed to educating and inspiring urban youth to become successful students, as well as global and community leaders. Using interactive and experiential methods to inform youth about critical international and foreign policy issues, Global Kids provides students with opportunities for civic and global engagement.

International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ)
The International Center for Transitional Justice assists countries in pursuing accountability for mass atrocities and human rights abuse. ICTJ works in societies emerging from repressive rule or armed conflict, as well as in established democracies where historical injustices or systemic abuse remain unresolved.

The National Security Archive
An independent non-governmental research institute and library located at George Washington University, the National Security Archive collects and publishes declassified documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. The archive also serves as a repository of government records on a wide range of topics pertaining to the national security, foreign, intelligence and economic policies of the United States.


The Oxford Companion to International Criminal Justice. Antonio Cassese, (Editor). (Oxford University Press, 2009)
This book is designed to be the first reference for scholars and practitioners interested in current developments in international justice.