The Icc - Two Courts in One?

Posted: 29 Feb 2008

See all articles by George P. Fletcher

George P. Fletcher

Columbia Law School

Jens David Ohlin

Cornell University - School of Law

Date Written: July 2006


The authors consider the recent operation of the International Criminal Court (ICC), its system of funding and the jurisdictional challenges facing the Court's Prosecutor. These challenges require an in-depth analysis of the Rome Statute's funding scheme and its provisions on complementarity. A close reading of the Statute indicates that both of these areas operate in an entirely different manner when a case is referred to the Court by the Security Council, and even suggests the startling possibility that these referrals relieve the Court of the usual constraints of complementary jurisdiction. The authors therefore conclude that the ICC is best viewed as two separate courts: an independent criminal court enacted by the parties of the Rome Statute but, in the case of referrals by the Security Council under Article 13(b) of the Statute, an organ for restoring collective peace and security that transcends the classic goals of criminal law to adjudicate individual guilt.

Suggested Citation

Fletcher, George P. and Ohlin, Jens David, The Icc - Two Courts in One? (July 2006). Journal of International Criminal Justice, Vol. 4, Issue 3, pp. 428-433, 2006. Available at SSRN: or

George P. Fletcher (Contact Author)

Columbia Law School ( email )

435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10025
United States
212-854-2467 (Phone)

Jens David Ohlin

Cornell University - School of Law ( email )

218 Myron Taylor Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853-4901
United States
(607) 255-0479 (Phone)
(607) 255-7193 (Fax)

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