The International Criminal Court: A Judicial Institution with a Room for Politics

Saleh Al Shraideh


The International Criminal Court is generally viewed to be a great achievement of international law. The fact that it is the first permanent international judicial institution recognizing individual responsibility for a number of the most horrific international crimes, added to the significance of the Court. However, like any other judicial institution, independence from the influence of other bodies is integral to its efficiency, legitimacy and credibility. In this regard, the relationship between the International Criminal Court and the Security Council has always been a subject of debate. This article discusses the relationship between the Security Council and the International Criminal Court. In doing so, it analyses the impact of the Council’s Court-related powers on the independence of the Court, and the implications of such powers on its integrity and credibility as a judicial institution. The article seeks to illustrate the damaging impact such relationship might potentially have on the Court, and the need for reforms that address and deal with such impact in order achieve and maintain a sense of equality and fairness within the international community towards the operation of the Court, which is integral to the efficiency of its jurisdiction and even its existence as an international judicial institution.

Keywords: International Criminal Court, Security Council, Referral, Deferral, Jurisdiction, Independence  

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