Comment on the Universality Lecture Question: “Is universal state participation in the ICC system desirable and, if so, how could that be achieved?”
Universal state participation in the ICC system is certainly desirable. Most of all, the ICC has been questioned legitimacy in exercising jurisdiction in that world powers including the United States, China, Russia and Japan have not ratified the Rome Statue. They have separately concluded treaties where they promised not to extradite criminals of serious crimes one another, which violate just cogens and damage to legitimacy of the ICC. In addition, those world powers' passive attitudes actually affect cases in which they are not involved. If a crime is conducted in a non-member state of the ICC, its jurisdiction over the nation requires a resolution and request by the Security Council. Then, a cooperation by the permanent members of Security Council is essential. Take Sudan Darfur genocide case in 2005, the United States was reluctant to request jurisdiction from the ICC and tired to propose establishing a special court. Even though the ICC's jurisdiction was decided thank to NGOs and member states' efforts and active negotiations, a U.S or China's veto could have establish a special court instead that would make the ICC only nominal. Given that such case can happen anytime, the ICC should strive to garner support especially from the powers, and to encourage them to ratify the statue.
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