Is the Quality of the ICC’s Legal Reasoning an Obstacle to Its Ability to Deter International Crimes?

Journal of International Criminal Justice, Forthcoming

iCourts Working Paper Series, no. 191, 2020

29 Pages Posted: 2 May 2020

Date Written: April 7, 2020

Abstract

Given that the Rome Statute is only binding upon its Member States, there is a certain element of judicial megalomania in the International Criminal Court’s recurrent claim that it acts ‘on behalf of the international community as a whole’ in its endeavor to end impunity for international crimes.Focusing on recent ICC rulings concerning the nature and function of the Court, this article queries whether the quality of the Court’s legal reasoning may have an impact its long-term deterrence potential. The article suggests that while making self-aggrandizing statements and stretching the boundaries of its legal mandate might, in principle, increase the short-term deterrent effect of the ICC, the Court risks sacrificing a greater good, i.e. its long-term status as a legitimate authority within the field international criminal law. Inconsistent rulings without a solid basis in sound legal analysis may indeed prove to be devastating for the ICC, which is still in the process of establishing itself as a credible institution that commands respect.

Keywords: ICC, Deterrence, Legal Personality, Immunity, Legal Reasoning

Suggested Citation

Kjeldgaard-Pedersen, Astrid, Is the Quality of the ICC’s Legal Reasoning an Obstacle to Its Ability to Deter International Crimes? (April 7, 2020). iCourts Working Paper Series, no. 191, 2020. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3570447 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3570447

Astrid Kjeldgaard-Pedersen (Contact Author)

University of Copenhagen - Faculty of Law ( email )

Karen Blixens Plads 16
Copenhagen, DK-2300
Denmark

HOME PAGE: http://jura.ku.dk/cilj/staff/?pure=en/persons/182315

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