An integrative model for the ICC's enforcement of arrest and surrender requests: Toward a more political court?
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International criminal courts and tribunals have been established on a belying enforcement paradox between their significant mandate and their inherent lack of enforcement powers. Their endogenous frailty lies in the predicament that, unlike their national counterparts, they are not backed by systemic law enforcement. Instead, they are left to rely on external forces to procure enforcement. Although the creation of a permanent International Criminal Court marked a fundamental turning point in the pursuit of international criminal justice, the icc must also rely on state cooperation and judicial assistance in order to secure arrests. Despite the solid legal underpinnings of the enforcement regime under the Rome Statute, I argue that the icc has thus far failed to achieve desired results due to its persistence in rejecting the factoring of politics in the enforcement of arrest requests equation. For this reason, I suggest a perspective of the arrest and surrender enforcement that not only recognizes the relevance of politics in its sphere but also capitalizes on it. Accordingly, I argue that by fully comprehending its enforcement tools, making use of its political role and the realities surrounding it, the Office of the Prosecutor (otp) may increase its rates in the apprehension of suspects, and therefore secure higher levels of judicial enforcement. Part of this role is the challenge for the icc to successfully convince skeptical states of there being a way to engage with the Court which does not result in an attrition of their sovereignty but in its enrichment. Nevertheless, little reference has been made to the Court's bargaining leverage in order to attract key actors in the regional and global political power-play that could affect the situations before the Court. This is probably due to the, oftentimes accurate, perception that those key actors appear to be vocally opposed to the icc.
Richard H. Steinberg
An integrative model for the ICC's enforcement of arrest and surrender requests: Toward a more political court?,
in Contemporary Issues Facing the International Criminal Court
(Richard H. Steinberg eds., 2016).
Available at: https://scholarlycommons.pacific.edu/facultybooks/43