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Scepticism about the ICC

Category: Publications

10 Nov 2016

Blog Post

Scepticism about the ICC should come as no surprise

JeffHandmakerISS_smallJeff Handmaker*

On 21 October 2016, South Africa’s Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Michael Masutha announced the intention of the government to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

South Africa’s announcement to withdraw from the ICC was accompanied by similar announcements by Burundi and possibly Kenya to either leave or consider leaving the Assembly of State Parties, which comprises the members of the Rome Statute of the ICC. The Gambia also made clear it was intending to leave the ICC, which was all the more embarrassing as it is the country of nationality of the current ICC prosecutor.




Annual Meeting of the Royal Netherlands Society of International Law

On Friday, 4 November 2016 AT 1:30 P.M. Raadzaal, Utrecht University, Achter Sint Peter 200, 3512 HT Utrecht

Speakers: Prof. Karin Arts on Revitalizing the Right to Development in International Law; Prof. Koen de Feyter on The Right to Development: A Treaty and Its Discontents

The printed version of the papers is available for non-members by applying to press@asser.nl. Coffee and tea will be available from 12:30 P.M. onwards. At 5:00 P.M. the biennial François Prize will be awarded.

A version of this paper was published in the Netherlands International Law Review (2016).

PLEASE NOTE: If you wish to attend the meeting, you are kindly requested to register in advance at info@knvir.org.



Professor Thea Hilhorst gave her innaugural address at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) on 22 September 2016. This editorial, which is based on that lecture, which is available on-line, forms part of When Disasters Meet Conflict, an NWO VICI-funded research programme

Prof. Thea Hilhorst

Prof. Thea Hilhorst

President Obama recently invited a selected, high-level company of heads of states to garner more support for refugees: pledges for humanitarian assistance, better security for refugees in host societies and more space for employment and development of refugees. Although the meeting appeared to be a ritual with fewer pledges than hoped for, and quite a lot of these consisting of repackaged old commitments or new promises that may be or may not be upheld. The significance of the meeting was partly found in its agenda, that rightly connects questions of refugees, rights and development. Fostering the resilience of refugees requires space to secure their livelihoods and protection.


ESDP_24The long-standing crisis in the #SouthChinaSea has received considerable media attention, not least in light of the historic judgement by the Hague Tribunal.

The judgement is likely to be strongly resisted, not least by the government of China.

This makes the critical analysis by Thanh Dam Truong and senior GGSJ researcher Karim Knio all the more important and valuable. Their 2016 book, published by Springer, discusses the many complex interactions at play.

The first issue of the 2016 volume of the Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights, of which GGSJ Senior Researcher Professor Karin Arts is editor-in-chief, has been published.


  • Column on The EU Migration Crisis: What Next? by Thom Brooks
  • Article: Religious Organisations, Internal Autonomy and Other Religious Rights before the European Court of Human Rights and the OSCE by Sylvie Langlaude Doné
  • Article: The Functioning of the Pilot-Judgment Procedure of the European Court of Human Rights in Practice by Lize R. Glas
  • Article: Somali Piracy and the Human Rights of Seafarers by Sofia Galani
  • New documentation: Recent Publications on International Human Rights

GGSJ Senior Researcher Des Gasper and Irene van Staveren published contributions in the newly published Oxford Handbook of Professional Economic Ethics

9780199766635The Oxford Handbook of Professional Economic Ethics (edited by George F. DeMartino and Deirdre N. McCloskey, Oxford University Press, 2016), brings together 36 essays that give detailed attention to ethical issues involved in economics practice, the ethical consequences of choices in theorizing and in the treatment of risk and uncertainty, ethical issues in various areas of economics research and of applied economics, and to ethics in economics education and the possible design and use of codes of ethics.

Gasper’s chapter deals with ‘The Ethics of Economic Development and Human Displacement’.

The chapter by ISS colleague van Staveren is on ‘Alternative Ethical Perspectives on the Financial Crisis: Lessons for Economists’.


Thanh Dam Truong and GGSJ Senior Researcher Karim Knio have published a jointly-authored monograph.

ESDP_24Published by Springer, the book explores recent developments, including the environmental and security dimensions of this highly contested region using critical realist approaches.

For more information, and a preview of the book, visit the publisher’s website.

GGSJ junior researcher and Phd candidate Anggun Susilo contributed to a report by the Asian Development Bank as principal researcher.

cover-mainstreaming-cdd-indonesiaThe publication, entitled “Toward Mainstreaming and Sustaining Community-Driven Development in Indonesia” is available for download on the website of the ADB.

As noted on the ADB website:

Through case studies, the study examines the ongoing transition from the government’s long-standing National Community Empowerment Program to mainstreaming through the government’s regular planning and budget allocation system through the Village Law, which was enacted in early 2014. The study summarizes important lessons learned and policy implications from the first year of Village Law implementation.

GGSJ Junior researcher and PhD Candidate Kim Chi Tran has discussed her research for the American Anthropological Association’s Anthropology of Children and Youth Interest Group

showphoto.viewIn her blog post, Kim explains where she is in her PhD research, following an extended fieldwork visit to Mongolia, including her conceptual and methodological frameworks.

Senior GGSJ researcher Professor Karin Arts has published an article on contemporary human rights challenges in the Netherlands

ArtsEntitled  Reflections on Human Rights in The Netherlands, the article appears in the December 2015 issue of the Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights (vol. 33/4, pp. 374-381), a B-rated journal in the ranking of the CERES Research School.

The article addresses the following: Currently, in the Netherlands there is quite a bit of food for thought in terms of the state of human rights in the country. In 2015 the human rights record of the Netherlands as regards children’s rights and racial discrimination was scrutinized by the relevant treaty bodies of the United Nations. The assessments and recommendations of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination reached the Netherlands in a period in which issues concerning racial discrimination and the ongoing influx of asylum seekers have given rise to heated public debates. This article briefly reviews these issues and the conclusions drawn by the two UN treaty bodies. This then serves as a basis for discussing some of the implications of the current debates and treaty body assessments for the role of the State for promoting and protecting human rights and will lead to a plea for greater engagement on the part of the government of the Netherlands.

International Institute of Social Studies

The Governance, Globalization and Social Justice research programme aims to produce internationally leading, socially committed and societally relevant research outcomes on issues of governance from an explicitly social justice perspective. This blog is a forum on which to share and discuss themes and issues which fall within the broad framework of the programme.