The Global-Local Dilemma and the ICC's Legitimacy
Legitimacy and International Courts, Harlan Grant Cohen, et al eds., Cambridge University Press, February 2018
23 Pages Posted: 29 Nov 2017 Last revised: 27 Jan 2018
Date Written: November 27, 2017
A key impediment to the ICC’s legitimacy is the tension between its dual mandates to both serve the global community, especially through world-wide crime prevention, and to assist the local communities most affected by the crimes it adjudicates, including by providing reparations. These mandates can sometimes be pursued simultaneously, but some decisions require the ICC to privilege one or the other set of objectives. For instance, effective global crime prevention may require dispersing prosecutorial resources across large geographic areas, whereas the victims in ICC situation countries may prefer a greater depth of prosecutions within a given situation. This Chapter demonstrates that the literature on the ICC’s legitimacy has largely failed to address this “global-local dilemma.” It argues that greater attention should be devoted to clarifying the ICC’s mission in order to promote the institution’s still fragile legitimacy.
Keywords: International Criminal Court (ICC), legitimacy, global, local, goals, prevention, selection, victims
JEL Classification: K14, K30, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation