Skip to content


A regular online roundtable where experts from different perspectives discuss a pressing issue in international criminal justice.

Note: Analysis and commentary in Arguendo represent the views of the authors. It has not been approved by the House of Delegates or the Board of Governors of the American Bar Association and, accordingly, should not be construed as representing the position of the Association or any of its entities.

Arguendo Main

​What is the future of relations between the UN Security Council and the International Criminal Court?

State cooperation and assistance remains key to the success of the International Criminal Court (ICC). An area of special concern is the perceived lack of sufficient support for the ICC from the UN Security Council (UNSC), particularly on Council-referred cases to the ICC (Darfur, Sudan and Libya). To date, eight instances of state non-compliance have been referred by the Court’s judges to the UNSC for appropriate action. The Council has yet to act on any of these non-compliance referrals.

How can the ICC garner more cooperation and assistance from the UNSC, especially with respect to the execution of arrest warrants, through such measures as sanctions for states that fail to cooperate? What steps could the ICC Assembly of States Parties take to increase UNSC cooperation with the ICC? What mechanisms can be introduced to strengthen the inter-institutional relationship between the ICC and the UNSC in a manner that allows the Council to more effectively support the ICC? What steps should States Parties sitting on the Council or veto-yielding permanent members take to promote progress in this regard?

Fatou Bensouda

Whither ICC-UNSC Relations in the 21st Century? Challenges and Opportunities

Honorable Navanethem Pillay

Encouraging UN Security Council Support of ICC Cases Starts with Practical Steps

Honorable Stephen J. Rapp

Overcoming Obstacles to Funding ICC Investigations in UN Security Council Referred Cases

Richard Dicker

As ICC Caseload Expands, UN Security Council’s Support Lags Far Behind