There is a close relationship between human rights and criminal law. The scope of my paper will surround human rights and the International Criminal Court (ICC) in addition to human rights and international crimes. International criminal justice in this context speaks to those interested in prosecuting against the background of international human rights and humanitarian norms. The use of criminal law has many positive effects and pursues many goals that are worth considering. For example, deterrence, accountability and punishment are important principles that will be discussed in the context of human rights. Is the International Criminal Court an effective method to promote and protect human rights internationally? If so, why and how?
My thesis is that the International Criminal Court is an effective mechanism for the promotion and protection of human rights internationally because, by embodying the principles of criminal responsibility, it brings forth the notion of the individual as an agent in human rights and, by doing so, upholds the progressive shift that human rights conventions have developed. Criminal responsibility for human rights violations is important given that, by categorizing certain human rights violations as such, it allows for a progressive move internationally against those violations. International criminal law is an important tool that those advocating for human rights can use. The continued use of criminal law internationally, including the adoption of the ICC in 2002, will allow for a shift in legal norms resulting an increase in human rights. In this way, criminal responsibility allows for the education of peoples around the world by making an example of certain cases and displays the importance of humanity. Without an international judiciary and thus the recognition that human rights deserve consideration the pursuit of human rights would be undermined.
To support my argument, I will first discuss the evolution of international criminal justice and the ICC. Then I will address my three subsidiary arguments. First, I will argue that the International Criminal Court is effective because it increases accountability of human rights violators. Secondly, I will argue that the existence and use of the court increases disapproval and deterrence which protects human rights making the ICC effective. Third, I will argue that the International Criminal Court is effective because it allows for a universal standard of acceptable and unacceptable behaviour as well as transcends and empowers national jurisdictions. Finally, I will address the counter argument and conclude.
The Evolution of International Criminal Justice and the ICC
The evolution of international criminal justice is important to consider. Two ad-hoc tribunals, the International Criminal Tribunal of Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Criminal Tribunal of Rwanda (ICTR), have facilitated the adoption of the ICC. The ICC came into existence on July 1, 2002....