‘Uniting Against Impunity: The UN General Assembly as Catalyst for Action at the ICC’ (2017) 66(4) International and Comparative Law Quarterly 893

26 Pages Posted: 28 Jul 2020

See all articles by Michael Ramsden

Michael Ramsden

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) - Faculty of Law

Dr Tomas Hamilton

University of Amsterdam - University of Amsterdam Faculty of Law; University of Cambridge - Lauterpacht Centre for International Law; University of Oxford; King’s College London, Dickson Poon School of Law, Students; United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials

Date Written: October 20, 2017

Abstract

This article evaluates the role of the UN General Assembly (‘UNGA’) and its subsidiary organs in acting as a catalyst for action at the International Criminal Court (‘ICC’). The power of the UN Security Council (‘UNSC’) to make a referral to the ICC has been increasingly challenged in recent years, due to the perceived misuse of the veto by permanent members and general failings to enforce international criminal law in the face of documented atrocities. Meanwhile, the UNGA and its subsidiary organs have exerted meaningful pressure on the UNSC through the creation of commissions of inquiry and country-specific resolutions. There is the possibility for the UNGA to engage in dialogue with the ICC through ‘quasi-judicial’ resolutions, in coordinating collective responses to a recalcitrant State and individual perpetrators and also through the possible assumption of a referral power. This analysis reveals that the UNGA has become increasingly active in international justice and holds the potential for an enhanced role in addressing the failings of the current UNSC-dominated paradigm governing UN–ICC relations, thereby facilitating States in ‘uniting against impunity’.

Keywords: International criminal law, impunity gap, powers of UN organs, universal jurisdiction, Uniting for Peace resolution

Suggested Citation

Ramsden, Michael and Hamilton, Dr Tomas, ‘Uniting Against Impunity: The UN General Assembly as Catalyst for Action at the ICC’ (2017) 66(4) International and Comparative Law Quarterly 893 (October 20, 2017). The Chinese University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law Research Paper Forthcoming, King's College London Law School Research Paper Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3656063

Michael Ramsden (Contact Author)

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) - Faculty of Law ( email )

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Kowloon, Sha Tin
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Dr Tomas Hamilton

University of Amsterdam - University of Amsterdam Faculty of Law ( email )

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Amsterdam, Noord-Holland 1001 ND
Netherlands

University of Cambridge - Lauterpacht Centre for International Law ( email )

Lauterpacht Centre for International Law
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United Kingdom

University of Oxford ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

King’s College London, Dickson Poon School of Law, Students ( email )

Strand
United Kingdom

United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials ( email )

Phnom Penh
Cambodia

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