The ICC is the product of gradual normative changes in world politics since World War II. Since the founding of the United Nations, traditional practices of sovereign immunity have been challenged by a principle of individual criminal liability for the worst violations of morality and international legal prohibitions. War crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and even aggression (which may be subject to the ICC’s jurisdiction within the decade) are now viewed as universal and unequivocal wrongs, and no guilty individual—whether acting in an official capacity or not—is excused by appeals to particularistic goods, such as national security or in-group solidarity, or by such exigencies as suppressing revolution or terrorism, or fighting an unjust government. With nearly 120 states parties, the 1998 Rome Statute consolidates a significant normative shift in world politics.
To read or purchase the full text of this article, click here.