Wednesday, 12 May 2010, 6.15pm

 

Campus Westend, Hörsaalzentrum HZ 3

Professor Ramesh Thakur (Centre for International Governance Innovation, University of Waterloo)

International Criminal Justice
At the Intersection of Power, Norms and a Shifting Global Order

CV

Thakur RameshIn May 2007 Ramesh Thakur took up a new position as Distinguished Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation and Professor of Political Science at the University of Waterloo in Canada. Previously, he was Vice Rector and Senior Vice Rector of the United Nations University (and Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations) from 1998–2007. Educated in India and Canada, he was a Pro-fessor of International Relations at the University of Otago in New Zealand and Professor and Head of the Peace Research Centre at the Australian National University, during which time he was also a consul-tant/adviser to the Australian and New Zealand governments on arms control, disarmament and interna-tional security issues. He was a Commissioner and one of the principal authors of The Responsibility to Protect (2001), and Senior Adviser on Reforms and Principal Writer of the United Nations Secretary-General’s second reform report (2002). As author or editor of over thirty books and 300 articles and book chapters, he also writes regularly for quality newspapers around the world.

Abstract

As power and influence shift North to South, what are the implications for the normative architecture of global governance? The ICC is the culmination of the search for universal jurisdiction and emblematic of the difficulties in achieving it. In stable polities, the constitution articulates the agreed political vision for the whole community and underpins the separation of the judicial from the legislative and executive branches, enhancing the credibility of all. Such first-order questions are not settled for the international community where law and politics intersect. By not being embedded in a broader system of democratic policymaking and with no political check on it, the ICC could widen the democratic deficit in international governance. Its advancement of universal justice may prove an optical illusion if Westerners enjoy de facto impunity. Judicial romanticism and colonialism can undercut due process, the peace process, and alternative justice mechanisms. Should international justice structures, reflecting past power equations, take away agency from African societies in deciding how to balance peace, justice and reconciliation?


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