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Teaching The Reckoning

Facing History and Ourselves has developed Teaching The Reckoning to help classrooms explore essential questions about judgment by studying the creation of the International Criminal Court.

Ever since the Nuremberg Trials, individuals around the world have imagined how an international judicial body could be used to prevent genocide, crimes against humanity, and other violations of civil and human rights. In 2002, more than 100 nations made this vision a reality with the establishment of the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

To help classrooms explore some of the successes and challenges this new court has faced, Facing History has partnered with Skylight Pictures, the producers of the film The Reckoning: The Battle for the International Criminal Court to create three short video modules — each one focusing on an important dilemma raised by the court related to issues of sovereignty, impunity, and peace.

These resources help students confront the complexity of justice and judgment in a global context, and make connections to their own lives, by raising questions such as: Are wrongdoers less likely to commit crimes when they think they might be caught and punished? What is justice? Does it look the same in all communities? How can individuals and nations work together to create a safer, more just community?

Module 1: Law or War: The Creation of the International Criminal Court

History of the ICC: Part 1 of 3The 15-minute film module Law or War: The Creation of the International Criminal Court explores the creation of the first permanent international court in history created to investigate and prosecute individual perpetrators, no matter how powerful, for genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. Watch now »


Module 2: Seeking Peace and Seeking Justice: The ICC & Uganda

History of the ICC: Part 2 of 3The 16-minute film module Seeking Peace and Seeking Justice: The ICC and Uganda explores how the ICC’s involvement in Uganda has sparked conversation and action throughout Ugandan society. For example, in the bush, LRA leaders have used the arrest warrants as a bargaining chip in peace negotiations; in displaced persons’ camps, Ugandans are debating the merits of the ICC versus traditional justice mechanisms; at a national level, the government of Uganda is restructuring its own judicial system. Watch now »


Module 3: International Law, Testing the Limits: The ICC & Darfur

History of the ICC: Part 2 of 3In recent years, charges of genocide have been leveled against the government of Sudan for violent attacks on Darfuris. In 2005, the United Nations Security Council asked the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate these charges. The 13-minute film module International Law, Testing the Limits: The ICC and Darfur tells the story of the ICC’s investigation in Darfur led by Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Prosecutor for the ICC. Watch now »






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[T]he film is about accountability. It's about bringing the perpetrators of the worst crimes happening in the world to justice.”

— Pamela Yates, Filmmaker

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