There are essentially two seemingly global criminal law regimes. The first is the International Criminal Court (ICC), which has over 120 state members, but whose jurisdiction is not recognized by three of the powerful P5 states, such as China, Russia and the United States. Its membership constitutes less than 50 per cent of the world’s population and, so far, the ICC has delivered judgments only in relation to individual perpetrators who have committed grave crimes on the continent of Africa.

The second regime has been administered on a selective basis by the UN Security Council, which has set up ad hoc courts and tribunals to deal with particular atrocities: the first being the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the most recent being the Special Tribunal in Lebanon (STL). This represents a relatively new role for the Security Council, adopted primarily as a result of its auto-interpretation of the UN Charter.

Moreover, the Security Council, by adopting resolutions to selectively, and often without proper backing, refer particular international criminals to the ICC (to date, only in respect of African nations), has arguably improperly interfered in the workings of the Court. 

As a result, there is no truly universal, “global” international criminal law adjudication and enforcement body, and consequently no effective means of judicially pursuing the perpetrators of international crimes. 

In this section, therefore, contributors are encouraged to analyse and debate this area of international law and to make policy recommendations aimed at enhancing the global rule of law. Your intellectual contributions are welcome here.