Graduation Year

Spring 2012

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International Relations

Reader 1

William Ascher

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Rights Information

© 2012 Kevin Wallentine


Current opinion pieces ask broad questions such as "Is the ICC worth it" while only focusing on a specific aspect of the ICC such as its budget or the work of the Office of the Prosecutor. Given the incredibly complex nature of human rights violations as well as the difficulty in assembling an international regime to deal with them, answering such questions requires a more complete analysis of the Court's functions, dynamics, and predecessors.

The background chapter that discussed trends in international judicial organizations leading up to the creation of the ICC examined the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal, the interregnum national commissions, the Spanish Universal Jurisdiction system, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, addressing key pitfalls that such organizations faced (including victors' justice and unilateralism) while noting how the ICC's policies and structure differed from its predecessors'.

The dynamics chapter highlighted eight key elements currently affecting how the Court works– the member states who have ratified the Rome Statute, the Court's ability to apprehend criminals, the international response to ICC actions, how prosecutions may be initiated, the explicit and implicit functions of the Court, its consensus policymaking, the Court's budget and finances, and the role of the United States.

With these dynamics in mind, the policy alternatives chapter recommended three actions that could serve to strengthen the ICC's capabilities – increasing its member states, increasing compliance with its warrants through different types of international agreements, and increasing its budget to be able to handle more cases. Following these policy alternatives to their likely outcomes in the policy forecast section, I analyzed how they would affect the ICC's effectiveness, its ability to gain more member states, and the member states themselves. Through this more comprehensive analysis that takes into account the external and internal factors affecting the ICC, this thesis offers realistic ways that the ICC can improve its capabilities and achieve its mission of ending impunity for war criminals.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.