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control of the judges and is much more subject to the preferences of states
(see Chapter 6).
Planning and modeling efforts revealed in the fall of 2006 what Court
of¬cials could agree upon regarding the ICC™s direction and the connection
between the breadth and intensity of its actions, on the one hand, and the
resources they would require, on the other. The Strategic Plan demonstrated
Building the Court

that the Court is largely ¬xated on organization building “ the majority of its
objectives were in its category of being a ˜˜model of public administration,™™
the area where challenges to the Court™s of¬cials were most immediate. The
Court Capacity Model will inform the states how much Court activity they
can buy for how much money: Decisions about how much justice to purchase
belong to the states, and policy control remains essentially budgetary.
Realists assert that states are paramount in the international system. The
domination of politics over pure expertise in election of the Court™s judges
and Prosecutor, Court of¬cials™ quest for organizational legitimacy, and
their aversion to antagonizing states demonstrate their sensitivity to the
power dynamics that realists emphasize. But the relevance of state power to
the Court does not vitiate the possibility that the Court will be found useful
and supported by states for reasons other than relative advantage over other
states, verifying the neoliberal institutionalists™ vision of potential positive-
sum outcomes of international cooperative behavior and also potentially
verifying the constructivists™ contention that shifting identities at the
international level “ pressed by civil society organizations upon national
decision makers through domestic politics “ lead to the evolution of inter-
national institutions.
The importance and legitimacy of the Court also depend upon the pri-
ority states accord to the norms on which it is built. Future constructivists
may look back upon the ICC as an organization that provided a new
channel for action within an increasingly coherent normative consensus.
Alternatively, they may see the Court as an organizational innovation that
failed because its normative basis was misunderstood or fell apart, or
because it was organizationally incapable of carrying out the agreements
that led to its creation. Nongovernmental organizations continue to be vital
to the Court in pressing upon states the normative framework of interna-
tional criminal law and, more immediately, by being directly involved in
publicizing the Court, pressing for state adherence to the Statute, and car-
rying out activities directly in support of its operational activities. The next
chapter discusses this complex ICC“NGO relationship.

NGOs “ Advocates, Assets, Critics, and Goads

Nongovernmental organizations cajoled, lobbied, and in myriad ways
pushed hard for the birth of the International Criminal Court, and now they
are nurturing it, criticizing it, and sometimes acting as the Court™s surro-
gates or agents, extending its reach. At once the ICC™s most vigorous
champions and its most demanding taskmasters, NGOs closely monitor
the organization™s declarations and actions. They do not speak to the ICC
with one voice because they pursue a range of objectives. However,
through the NGO Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC),
they coordinate with each other on the objectives they share. From the
Statute Conference onward, the relationship between the ICC and the
NGOs has probably been closer, more consistent, and more vital to the
Court than have analogous relations between NGOs and any other
international organization.
By mid-2006 the CICC claimed more than 2,000 member organizations
worldwide, ranging from major international NGOs such as Human Rights
Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International (AI) to local peace and justice
organizations. Many of the NGOs with which the Court interacts are
members of the CICC. Some are closely af¬liated with governments, such as
the International Criminal Law Network, founded and largely funded by
The Hague municipality and the Dutch Ministries of Defense and Foreign
Affairs. Some are themselves federations, such as the International Feder-
ation of Human Rights Leagues (FIDH). Although the NGOs seek to shape
the actions of the Court, the Court must manage the pressures exerted
by the NGOs. This chapter explains the Court™s symbiotic relationship with
the NGOs and how they moved from being crucial to the Court™s creation
to being vital to its operations.

NGOs “ Advocates, Assets, Critics, and Goads


Realists minimize the role of NGOs. Because the realist model is one in
which states are the paramount actors, domestic, transnational, and global
NGOs don™t make it onto structuralist or neorealist radars. To the small
extent that domestic politics might in¬‚uence policy making, and domestic
politics might be in¬‚uenced by nongovernmental organizations, there may
be some link from NGOs to policy; however, the national interest to which
states™ rational decision makers respond exists apart from the claims that
domestic organizations might make about it. In neoliberal institutionalists™
views, the states remain paramount actors, but they are joined at the
international level by organizations that manifest international institutional
commitments. Insofar as NGOs might assist in reducing transaction costs
for states and international organizations (by, for instance, providing
information or informal communications channels), they may have some
role to play at the global level. However, as argued in the Introduction, the
basis for institutionalism, like realism, tends to be material rather than
normative. It is in the normative realm that NGOs have had their most
pervasive effects. The constructivists are most concerned with normative
change, and since NGOs can be key transmitters of normative values,
constructivists tend to be more interested in NGOs than other varieties of
Constructivist scholars argue that nongovernmental organizations1
publicize and build support for norms at the domestic and international
levels, calling them ˜˜norm entrepreneurs.™™2 The number of these organi-
zations has exploded since World War II, particularly in ¬elds associated
with global issues such as human rights and the environment.3 From the
1980s onward, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and other
NGOs advocated international organizational measures against criminal

Nongovernmental organizations are commonly thought of as organizations other than
government and pro¬t-oriented ones. They are sometimes also called civil society
organizations. One de¬nition holds that NGOs are voluntary organizations whose
objectives include consulting, educating, mediating, participating in government action,
and acting as catalysts to government action. Shestack, ˜˜Sisyphus Endures: The International
Human Rights NGO™™ (1978).
Finnemore and Sikkink, ˜˜International Norms and Political Change™™ (1998), 887“917.
For example, NGOs accorded consultative status by the UN Economic and Social Council
(ECOSOC) grew from 41 in 1948 to 2,500 in 2002. Karns and Mingst, International
Organizations: The Politics and Processes of Global Governance (2004), 231. If domestic
NGOs are included, depending upon de¬nitions, the number probably runs to the millions.
146 Building the International Criminal Court

impunity, converging in support of an international criminal court by 1995
in the CICC.
From the constructivist viewpoint, national leaders™ identities come to
necessitate the appearance of respect for international norms, and the
practice of presenting the appearance eventually modi¬es their behavior.
As noted earlier, the behavioral changes can accumulate into a ˜˜norms
cascade.™™4 The move in the 1990s from discussion of an ICC to negotiation
of the Statute could be seen as the result of the cascade passing a tipping
point. At the global level, NGOs convey information and analyses, promote
exchanges of ideas across borders, and can focus international attention on
otherwise obscure events. Publicity may inhibit perpetrators and deter some
of the deal making that can lead to impunity. Governments that begin by
ignoring or rejecting NGO calls to uphold international standards often
come to pay at least rhetorical respect to human rights norms, thus
strengthening domestic demands for greater compliance.5


Until the 1990s, the idea of an International Criminal Court was primarily
developed by international legal experts. In the background during the
1970s and 1980s, international human rights and humanitarian NGOs
multiplied and expanded. Finally, what had long survived as an esoteric
quest by international lawyers to establish a mechanism for punishing
international crimes reached the mainstream of international human rights
activism. Nuremberg-style retributive old justice converged with the
increasingly vigorous new, restorative justice movement that embraced
social reconciliation, with a focus on victims and reparations.
NGOs commented extensively on the International Law Commission
draft of July 1994 (see Chapter 3).6 In the fall, they pressed the General
Assembly™s Sixth (legal) Committee to recommend that the General
Assembly pass a resolution to create an ad hoc committee that would dis-
cuss the draft and move toward a statute conference. The resolution passed
on December 10, 1994.7 In February 1995, as momentum built, World

Finnemore and Sikkink, op cit., 895.
Risse, Ropp, and Sikkink, The Power of Human Rights: International Norms and Domestic
Change (1999).
For example, Amnesty International, ˜˜Memorandum to the International Law Commission:
Establishing a Just, Fair and Effective Permanent International Criminal Tribunal™™ (1994).
UN General Assembly, ˜˜Establishment of an International Criminal Court,™™ Resolution
49/53, (1994).
NGOs “ Advocates, Assets, Critics, and Goads

Federalist Movement (WFM) Executive Director Bill Pace convened a meeting
in New York to establish a steering committee of what came to be the NGO
CICC.8 The CICC steering committee included representatives from the
WFM, the International Commission of Jurists, Amnesty International, the
Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, Human Rights Watch, Parlia-
mentarians for Global Action, and No Peace Without Justice.9 (By mid-2006,
the steering committee had expanded to include eleven organizations.)10
From the ¬rst meeting onward, the CICC served as an umbrella and
coordinating organization for a steadily growing raft of NGOs interested
in the creation of the ICC. CICC members now ascribe to three principles:
(1) promoting worldwide rati¬cation and implementation of the Rome
Statute of the ICC; (2) maintaining the integrity of the Rome Statute of the
ICC; and (3) ensuring the ICC will be as fair, effective, and independent as
possible.11 These very general principles permit organizations with broadly
varying objectives to participate in the coalition. Most of the organizations
involved with the ICC pursue broader agendas than just the Court, for
example, more general human rights issues, victims™ rights, gender rights,
rule of law, con¬‚ict mediation, and peace. The CICC coordinates their
efforts to improve the ef¬ciency of NGOs™ contributions to the Court and to
pool their in¬‚uence on major common issues. From the ICC side, it has been
extremely useful to have the CICC channel NGO contacts with the Court
so that its of¬cials don™t have to interact individually with thousands of
separate organizations.12


During the preparatory phase before the Statute Conference, CICC member
organizations, as well as the expanding CICC Secretariat itself, produced

The WFM had been formed in 1947 as the World Movement for World Federal
Government, and went through several subsequent names before becoming the WFM.
It has member and associated organizations and individual supporters in many parts of
the world, linked together by the idea that global peace requires some form of world
Stoelting, ˜˜NGOs and the ICC™™ (1999).
Amnesty International, Asociacion Pro Derechos Humanos, European Law Students
Association, Federation Internationale des Ligues des Droits de l™Homme, Human Rights
First, Human Rights Watch, No Peace Without Justice, Parliamentarians for Global Action,
Rights and Democracy, Women™s Initiatives for Gender Justice, and the World Federalist
Movement. NGO CICC, CICC Web site, ˜˜Steering Committee.™™
NGO CICC, CICC Web site, ˜˜Membership Request Form.™™
148 Building the International Criminal Court

information materials, lobbied members to express support for an ICC,
organized regional meetings with NGO and governmental representatives
to promote their ideas about the Court, and produced newsletters and
position papers on a multitude of aspects of the ICC and af¬liated issues in
international law and human rights. The NGOs devoted extensive effort to
researching, writing, and disseminating information and position papers
throughout the preparatory process and in advance of the Rome Confer-
ence. Close contact with national delegations meant that many NGO
positions were articulated in national positions as well.
At formal and informal meetings and in their publications, the NGOs
supported proposals for an ICC radically different from the International
Law Commission draft. They sought to maximize Court independence from
the UN Security Council, and they emphasized a new justice victim orien-
tation. They tended to agree on both of those objectives but differed in their
focuses. Some sought a longer list of crimes to be included in the Court™s
jurisdiction, others wanted to stress a narrower range that could command
greater agreement among the negotiating states. Some NGOs vigorously
supported including the crime of aggression in the Statute™s purview; others
viewed it as being politically too divisive. A similar division arose over
explicitly criminalizing the use of weapons of mass destruction.
The highly organized NGO coalition, which by the time of the Confer-
ence included more than 800 members of which 236 were actually repre-
sented at Rome,13 played a pivotal role in the Statute negotiations. CICC
members divided into three kinds of groups “ regional caucuses that met
with state representatives from their own regions; issue-based groups
focused, for example, on victims, peace, children, gender justice, and reli-
giously based organizations; and teams of NGO representatives working on
the subjects into which the state delegations had divided the work of the
conference: Establishment (of the Court); De¬nitions (of terms, crimes);
State Consent (jurisdiction); Trigger Mechanism and Admissibility (refer-
rals, Security Council, complementarity); General Principles (of law);
Composition and Administration (of the Court); Investigation (the Prose-
cutor); Trial, Appeal, and Review (rules); Penalties; and Cooperation (with
states and other organizations).14
The CICC vastly increased the transparency of the negotiations by pro-
viding daily updates of states™ positions based on public comments and
conversations with delegates. Groups not attending at Rome could receive a

Glasius, The International Criminal Court: A Global Civil Society Achievement (2005), 27.


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