Date of Award
The 'Rome Statute' of the International Criminal Court (ICC) represents an exciting and revolutionary development in the field of international law generally and international criminal law specifically. Unfortunately there are many ways in which academics, the media and political decision-makers misinterpret its intent and its nature. This thesis considers these traps and embarks upon an analysis of international criminal law by considering the content of the Statute and how it proceeds to establish an International Criminal Court, capable of bringing those most serious perpetrators to account. The subject matter of the ICC reveals a Court with a very limited jurisdiction, over a very limited category of international crimes, in a specific context. The backbone of the Court is a novel concept, called "complementarity." The concept is worth exploring in detail, for it reveals a Statute that introduces a new vocabulary of how an international court is capable of functioning, yet at the same time being respectful of the primary right of States to prosecute international crimes themselves. Yet the concept is even more intriguing, for it establishes the Court as an institution that neither centralizes international criminal judicial authority, nor establishes a hierarchy of international criminal law.
Ronald Ian MacKay Rennie, The International Criminal Court: A Contextual Study of a Nascent Court within the International Criminal Legal System (LLM Thesis, Dalhousie University, 2002) [unpublished].