The very idea of international criminal justice is predicted on a framework in which sovereign states cooperate with international criminal tribunals, giving effect to their judicial orders and providing political and financial support. This is what oils the wheels of war crimes justice. It could not be otherwise, for the Arusha and Hague tribunals have no police forces or prisons of their own. These two tribunals, created as they are by the United Nations (UN) Security Council’s enforcement powers, impose on states an obligation to cooperate with them. In the treaty-based International Criminal Court (ICC), that obligation is willingly taken on when a state signs on to the treaty regime. And for the “hybrid” courts such as the Special Court for Sierra Leone, the weak legal framework for state cooperation has had important practical consequences. That court, not having the enforcement powers of UN Security Council-created International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) under the UN Charter, cannot compel the cooperation of states. Charles Taylor, the Special Court’s most important indictee, is in exile in Nigeria, which has declined to hand him over to the Court.
KeywordsUnited Nations Security Council International Criminal Court Rome Statute International Criminal Tribunal
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7 Hot Pursuit: Fugitives From Justice
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