Sovereign Misconceptions: A Theoretical Analysis of the Perceived Impact of the International Criminal Court on the Institution of State Sovereignty
Pace, Gerald Robert
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The establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC) through the signing of the Rome Statute in July, 1998 created the first permanent criminal court under international law. The Court stands in stark contrast to previous international criminal tribunals not simply because of its permanent nature, but also because it places the individual, not states, responsible under international law. It is, however, this independent, permanent nature of the Court which sparked fears within the society of states that the Court may in some manner serve to erode the state sovereignty. The purpose of this work is to address this basic concern. The aim of the work is to address the concept of sovereignty by first examining standard perceptions of sovereignty and then to move the discussion into an institutionalist construction of the term. Once accomplished, I then apply a set of criteria for evaluating sovereignty to the basic structures of the ICC in order to explore what the potential impact of the ICC may be on the institution of state sovereignty. In the end, I find that the institution of sovereignty is not threatened by the presence of the Court. In fact, the institution of sovereignty may be in some ways bolstered by the Court in that the Court embodies a new set of principals with regards to the appropriate relationship between the state and the individual.
- Masters Theses