Can the International Criminal Court Succeed?: An Analysis of the Empirical Evidence of Violence Prevention

18 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2020

See all articles by Stuart Ford

Stuart Ford

University of Illinois at Chicago - UIC John Marshall Law School

Date Written: February 10, 2020

Abstract

At the heart of this Article is a question: Can the International Criminal Court (ICC) succeed? This is an important question and one that scholars have grappled with since the Court’s inception. Despite some early detractors, there was significant optimism about the ICC’s future during its early years. Recently, however, there has been growing discontent with it. This has led several African nations to threaten to withdraw from the ICC. It has also led the African Union to begin the process of setting up its own international criminal tribunal, partly as a way to insulate African states from ICC jurisdiction. At the same time, several high-profile investigations and prosecutions have collapsed. Scholars have also become increasingly critical of the Court and its work. As a result, there appears to be more doubt about the ICC’s ability to succeed now than at any other point in its history.

So, are the critics correct? Should we be skeptical of the ICC and its prospects for success? No. This Article argues that, not only can the ICC succeed, there is good evidence that it is already succeeding. It reviews and analyzes a number of recent empirical articles that have convincingly demonstrated that the ICC does reduce or prevent violations of international criminal law. Prevention of violations is the principal goal of the ICC. Therefore, by preventing violations the ICC is already accomplishing its most important goal. In other words, it is succeeding. This may not be the dominant narrative about the Court, but it probably should be.

Keywords: ICC, International Criminal Court, empirical, violence prevention, goals, success

JEL Classification: K33

Suggested Citation

Ford, Stuart, Can the International Criminal Court Succeed?: An Analysis of the Empirical Evidence of Violence Prevention (February 10, 2020). Loyola of Los Angeles International and Comparative Law Review, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3535868

Stuart Ford (Contact Author)

University of Illinois at Chicago - UIC John Marshall Law School ( email )

300 S. State Street
Chicago, IL 60604
United States

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