Saturday, February 21, 2009

Zahar: International Court and Private Citizen

Alexander Zahar (Griffith Univ. - Law) has posted International Court and Private Citizen (New Criminal Law Review, forthcoming). Here's the abstract:
The protection of individuals, often necessary against their own states, may sometimes also be necessary against international organizations. This is a particularly delicate matter where the international organization is meant to represent international law. Drawing on the experience of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the author argues that the operations of the International Criminal Court will inevitably have a direct and significant impact on the treatment of individuals in countries that are not able or willing to stand up for their citizens' rights and interests under state laws or international law. The interface of the ICC with the ordinary state national is generally not regulated by the ICC's statute and rules (just as it is not by the ICTY's) and, in the absence of regular and effective state protections, constitutes a lawless frontier at which the court is all-powerful and the individual is at its mercy. The strong state/weak state divide (with the corresponding strong individual/weak individual effect) offers the ICC opportunities for evidence-gathering, but also risks damage to the Court's moral standing. The author concludes that the ICC needs, at the very least, a policy that foresees such situations and aims to maintain a balance of rights and interests in the relationship of international court and private citizen.