Balancing Individual and Community Interests: Reflections on the International Criminal Court

Hans-Peter Kaul and Eleni Chaitidou

in From Bilateralism to Community Interest

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199588817
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191725272 | DOI:
Balancing Individual and Community Interests: Reflections on the International Criminal Court

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Essentially, the balancing exercise before the International Criminal Court (ICC) involves two main interests: on the one side, there is the collective interest of States to try persons for ‘the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole’ and to ‘put an end to impunity’. On the international plane, this ‘communalized’ interest of States has been entrusted to the ICC by dint of a multilateral treaty with a view to enforce those interests, in principle, independently and regardless of the will of States. Other actors may join the Court in fulfilling its task. On the other side, there are particular interests advanced by various individuals or entities, including the interests of States rooted in a ‘bilateralist’ understanding of international relations, which either stand in opposition to the multilateralist commitment or which may conflict with each other. This chapter seeks to provide some reflections on how community and various individual interests have been incorporated in the Rome Statute, which actors it involves; and illustrated with three selected topics, how those interests have been balanced in the Court's early jurisprudence. The chapter concludes with a tentative résumé of ongoing challenges and future perspectives of the Court.

Keywords: international law; international courts; States; international relations; Rome Statute

Chapter.  15688 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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