State Sovereignty In International Law

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The powers and legal authority of the International Criminal Court are defined in the Rome statute however, state parties to this statute also owe the ICC certain obligations. “The main obligation that the Statute imposes on its states parties is to “cooperate fully with the Court in its investigation and prosecution of crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court” (Art. 86)” (Hurd, 2014). This implies that member states are obligated to help provided spaces where sentences are served, help to carry out investigations and procure evidence and help in securing the accused. The ICC has jurisdiction over matters arising within the territories of its member states however, the United Nations Security Council can also confer jurisdiction on the…show more content…
The ICC has authority to determine whether a State is capable of properly handling any criminal case regarding war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. The principle of state sovereignty is a very touchy subject in the international community. “The concept of sovereignty in international law is as an indispensable right of states. It has both legal and political context” (Coban-Ozturk, 2014). Sovereignty for states could mean two things: either in relation to the government within its territory or its relationship with other states. All international laws are drafted in such a way that that the sovereignty of states is preserved unless it involves an issue considered to be a threat to international peace and security. International Criminal law is embodied in the form of treaties and customs that all states have agreed to adhere to however, in exercising their sovereignty, states are only obligated to adhere to statutes or treaties to which they are signatories. Now, the ICC is obligated to deal with matters regarding genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity however, it has been criticized on the basis that since it is an independent entity, it has powers to supersede the sovereignty of states. “Senator John Ashcroft, a US Foreign Relations Committee Member and later the Attorney General in the George W. Bush administration, has argued that a criminal court will comprise sovereignty in a fundamental manner” (Wind, 2009). The issue of sovereignty has been used as a defense by states who have refused to ratify the Rome statute and it is increasingly being used by states who want to leave the ICC. The ICC doesn’t have to wait for cases to be brought to it before it acts. The prosecutor can carry out investigations by itself under an express authorization of the United Nations Security

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