I.P.O. Information Service

The Security Council and the future of international criminal justice

President of International Progress Organization addresses students at National Law College of India


Bangalore, 12 April 2010

In a lecture delivered on 9 April at the National Law College of India University in Bangalore, the President of the International Progress Organization, Dr. Hans Koechler, questioned the role of the United Nations Security Council in the field of international criminal justice. The creation of ad hoc tribunals and special hybrid courts by, or at the initiative of, the Security Council has politicized the debate on an end to impunity for the perpetrators of international crimes and has seriously undermined the efforts at the establishment of a cohesive and credible system of international law enforcement, Dr. Koechler said. He also criticized the special role given to the Security Council under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The Council's right of referral of situations to the ICC creates jurisdiction in states that are not Parties to the Rome Statute, and thus violates the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. Referring to the examples of the Yugoslavia and Rwanda tribunals in particular, Dr. Koechler explained the Council's lack of legal authority in matters of criminal justice and its corresponding lack of practical ability as self-declared "administrator of justice." Because it is essentially the national interests of the five veto-wielding members that determine the Council's decisions, a policy of double standards is almost unavoidable when the Council deals with judicial matters, he explained.

On Saturday, 10 April, a special book launching ceremony was held in connection with the annual symposium of the National Law College of India Review to introduce Dr. Koechler's new volume "World Order: Vision and Reality" (Ed. David Armstrong. Studies in International Relations, Vol. XXXI. New Delhi: Manak, 2009.) The book was presented by the Vice-Chancellor of the National Law College of India University, Professor Venkata Rao.

On the sidelines of the symposium, the President of the I.P.O. met with the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Rao, and with the Registrar of the University, Professor V. Nagaraj.

Dr. Hans Koechler's earlier book on international criminal justice - Global Justice or Global Revenge? (Indian edition: 2005, Turkish edition: 2005) - has been widely discussed in India and has initiated a worldwide debate on universal jurisdiction and the politicization of international criminal justice.

  • I.P.O. initiatives in the field of international criminal law

  • World Order: Vision ad Reality

  • Global Justice or Global Revenge?

  • Rendering criminal justice globally. Book review by R. K. Raghavan, in: Frontline. India's National Magazine (2004)

  • Hans Köchler: Law and Politics in the International Criminal Court. Lecture delivered in London, 30 March 2010

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