Chapter

Anarchy is What Criminal Lawyers and other Actors Make of it: International Criminal Justice as an Institution of International and World Society

Jason Ralph

in Governance, Order, and the International Criminal Court

Published in print May 2009 | ISBN: 9780199546732
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191720406 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199546732.003.0006
Anarchy is What Criminal Lawyers and other Actors Make of it: International Criminal Justice as an Institution of International and World Society

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This chapter argues that the ICC is not merely a response to a developed consensus of the idea that individuals should be held criminally responsible for gross human rights violations. It is also a response to what Alexander Wendt might call the ‘instability’ of an international society that has enabled unaccountable great powers to decide when and where international criminal justice would be administered and promoted, and to grant effectively for themselves exceptions to the laws they applied to others. In this sense, the rules of international society remained unstable and states responded by creating the ICC, which, in effect, turned the exception into the norm. The chapter seeks to show how the Court's independence from the society of states leads us to contemplate further the other aspect of English School theorizing: world society. From this standpoint, it addresses the crucial issue of why so many states thought it necessary to create the Office of the Prosecutor, and to invest it with the powers to investigate without prior authorization of the UN Security Council.

Keywords: world society; instability; consensus; anarchy; sovereignty; collective accountability

Chapter.  9054 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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