The EU-NormCon researchers, Gemma Collantes-Celador y Oriol Costa, have participated in the UACES 48th Annual Conference that has taken place in University of Bath (United Kingdom) between the 2nd and the 5th of September 2018. They presented the paper entitled ‘The EU and the International Criminal Court: All Quiet on the Western Front?‘.
Abstract: Considered as a breakthrough in the evolution of international criminal law, the International Criminal Court (ICC) came into force on 1 July 2002 with the authority to bring to justice individuals guilty of war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and, since the Kampala Review Conference, also crimes of aggression (pending activation). Much has been written since then about the continuous contestation of the norms and practices embodied in the ICC project, best exemplified by the deteriorating relations between this institution and the African Union, the withdrawal of Russia and the fluctuating position of the United States. Contrary to these actors, the EU is normally conceived of as a loyal supporter; Herman van Rompuy went as far as calling the ICC a ‘symbolic anchors of [its] external policies’. Moreover, the influence that the EU can exert on ICC developments is normally measured against these other international actors. In this paper we propose an ‘inside-out’ approach that gives greater recognition to internal political dynamics within the EU not only as a means of contesting the idea of EU ‘unity’ in relation to its policy towards the ICC but also when measuring how far this policy has been able to withstand pressures from the abovementioned international actors. The paper will consider a number of key junctures in the development of the ICC: pre-Rome Statute, the US negotiation of Bilateral Immunity Agreements with ICC State Parties, the Kampala Review Conference and debates on the crime of aggression, and the ICC case against Sudan’s president, Omar Hassan Al-Bashir.
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