The Council and the Court: Law and Politics in the Rise of the International Criminal Court

27 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2016 Last revised: 12 Jun 2016

David Kaye

University of California, Irvine School of Law

Kal Raustiala

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law

Date Written: March 21, 2016

Abstract

The International Criminal Court is the most significant development in international justice of the 21st century. The UN Security Council is the most powerful institution in the international legal order. This review essay explores the complex and often contentious relationship between these two bodies via an examination of David Bosco’s excellent recent book, Rough Justice: The International Criminal Court in a World of Power Politics (Oxford 2014). The ICC has over 120 member states, but only two permanent members of the Security Council. We explain the uneven and unusual evolution of the relationship between law and politics with regard to the ICC, and we explore the difficult balance struck between the imperatives of justice on the one hand and, in Bosco’s words, “a turbulent world where power matters” on the other. We describe and analyze how the Council has used — and ignored — the Court when it decides to. Finally, we conclude with some concrete and implementable recommendations for a stronger Council-Court relationship.

Keywords: International Criminal Court, UN Security Council, rule of law, global justice

Suggested Citation

Kaye, David and Raustiala, Kal, The Council and the Court: Law and Politics in the Rise of the International Criminal Court (March 21, 2016). 94 Texas Law Review 713 (2016); UCLA School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 16-13. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2752682

David A. Kaye

University of California, Irvine School of Law ( email )

401 E. Peltason Dr.
Ste. 1000
Irvine, CA 92697-1000
United States

Kal Raustiala (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law ( email )

385 Charles E. Young Dr. East
Room 1242
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1476
United States
310-794-4856 (Phone)

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