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Title: Impunity and the International Criminal Court (ICC)
Author: Talebpour, Mansour
Awarding Body: SOAS, University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis looks at the question of impunity in the context of the International Criminal Court and is concerned with elucidating an important paradox: that despite the ICC's explicit aim of ending impunity for the perpetrators of serious international crimes, it may also be seen to create, legitimise, and facilitate impunity in a variety of different ways. Whilst it creates and defines crimes, and empowers certain parties to act, it also immunises the acts of others from criminal judgment and enables the (almost) routine escape from judgment. The research presents a detailed analysis of the specific ways in which the ICC may give rise to situations of impunity. The thesis focuses on internal and external aspects of the relationship between the ICC and de jure and de facto impunity. Regarding the former, internal dimension, it is shown that impunity may arise in the Statute through the following ways: criminalisation, definition of new crimes, amnesties, immunities, defences, generic and particular procedural problems of the ICC, the nature of the complementarity of jurisdiction, and deficiencies in the institutional mechanisms of the ICC. In terms of the external dimension, the research explores the interaction between a number of external agencies and the ICC. It reports how the relationship between the Security Council and the ICC, together with the opposition of several powerful countries and states not party to the Statute, may also lead to a condition of de jure and de facto impunity in the Statute and the practice of the Court so far. The thesis finds that the ICC, similarly to previous international tribunals such as the ad hoc tribunals, inherited many issues concerning enforcement of international justice, but also has its own particular difficulties and weaknesses. The Court not only was not created as a mechanism of universal international justice, but its limited jurisdiction cannot be implemented in practice equally even regarding all states party to the Statute; thus, the ICC is a Court of partial justice, as justice has been differentiated via the different relative powers of states. From the very outset of the formation of the ICC, certain countries have aimed at its being created as a weak institution with very limited jurisdiction and sanctioning and enforcement power. This weakness, however, is also a source of power for those states that seek to maintain the unequal distribution of criminal justice.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral