Implementing the International Criminal Court

47 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2014

See all articles by Wayne Sandholtz

Wayne Sandholtz

University of Southern California - School of International Relations; University of Southern California Gould School of Law

Date Written: August 15, 2014

Abstract

The International Criminal Court (ICC) sits atop a legal regime that depends heavily on national governments and institutions of criminal justice in two crucial ways. First, the ICC exercises “complementary” jurisdiction, prosecuting only when states cannot or will not do so. National courts should prosecute the lion’s share of ICC crimes. Second, the ICC will depend on the cooperation of national institutions and officials for everything from gaining custody of the accused to gathering evidence and securing witnesses. In order to play their role in the ICC system, states must enact legislation that addresses both aspects of their relationship with the ICC: complementarity and cooperation. Because implementation legislation is costly, states that enact complementarity and cooperation laws display a higher level of commitment to the ICC than those who do not. This paper tests the hypotheses that democracies and states with transitional justice mechanisms underway will be more likely to enact implementing legislation and that states that are most involved in armed conflict abroad – whether through war or United Nations peacekeeping operations – will be less likely to do so. The analysis of data from more than 150 countries employs a Heckman selection model that takes into account whether states have ratified the Rome Statute in the first place. The results strongly confirm the democracy and transitional justice hypotheses, but states involved in international wars are actually more likely to pass ICC implementing legislation.

Keywords: International Criminal Court, implementation, commitment

Suggested Citation

Sandholtz, Wayne, Implementing the International Criminal Court (August 15, 2014). APSA 2014 Annual Meeting Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2454824

Wayne Sandholtz (Contact Author)

University of Southern California - School of International Relations ( email )

Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

University of Southern California Gould School of Law ( email )

Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

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