Deconstructing the Security Council's Failure to Refer the Conflict in Syria to the International Criminal Court

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Abstract

Conflict has been ongoing in Syria since March 2011, when the government arrested and tortured 14 school children, and subsequently began a campaign of violence against protesters. Violence in the country has escalated following the organization of rebel groups into government opposition forces. Mass atrocities have taken place at the hands of both sides, with the United Nations declaring that crimes against humanity and war crimes have been committed. The Security Council failed to refer the situation to the International Criminal Court in 2014, due to the veto power utilised by Russia and China. This article contends that the individual self-interest of Russia and China were motivating factors for the use of their veto power; counter to the protection of international peace and security. Suggestions are put forth regarding how to remedy the issue of political considerations entering into future Security Council referral decision-making.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-60
JournalQueen's Political Review
Volume3
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 2015

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