Comment on the Universality Lecture Question: “Is universal state participation in the ICC system desirable and, if so, how could that be achieved?”
I understand a cautious approach towards universality based on the instances in which it results in a lowest common denominator type of institution, in which all members are brought down to the level of the least X members, in which X can be least compliant, least human rights abiding, least developed, whatever. However, in the case of international law, I think the very need for its existence implies a need for universality, in that so many of the seemingly intractable programs - like climate change and human trafficking - we (humankind) face are not at all impeded by boundaries drawn on a map. The corollary question is certainly much more difficult. A good place to start might be the regional courts, such as the Inter-American or European Courts of Human Rights. Perhaps if these institutions can be strengthened, we can use them as a sort of a building block to the ICC. However, there are risks in this approach, as it may only serve to solidify differences between these regions and get us further away from the end goal.
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