International Criminal Tribunals: Experiments? Works in progress? Institutions that are here for good, or maybe not? – Gresham College Lecture

Posted September 13th, 2012 in crime, international courts, jurisdiction, lectures by tracey

“In the last twenty years several international courts have been established to try crimes committed in armed conflicts. Public expectation of what these courts may achieve is high; but are the courts living up to that expectation? Is the public expectation realistic and part of a liberal tradition; may it be seen as ‘judicial romantic’, according to courts capabilities they can never have? Are the courts always bound to be tainted by political influence that makes it probable they will ultimately fail? What sense can be made of the permanent International Criminal Court – the ICC – when Russia, China and the USA decline to accept its jurisdiction for their own citizens but can, as permanent members of the Security Council of the UN, refer individuals from other non-member states to the ICC for trial? And would it matter if the ICC failed? Has enough already been done to chart a way ahead that will allow the law a proper role in the service of countries, or communities in countries, at war? In any event, are war crimes trials the best partner of politics in the search for peace? Are there times when it may be better to let history go in the interests of a better safer future? This is a part of Sir Geoffrey Nice’s 2012/13 series of lectures as Gresham Professor of Law.”


Lecture by Sir Geoffrey Nice

Gresham College, 12th September 2012