Miriam Cullen

University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Law, Centre for International Law and Justice

Miriam Cullen
Staff Page: jura.ku.dk

Competing Imperatives: The UN Security Council and International Justice

Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter grants the Security Council (UNSC) broad powers to address threats to or breaches of international peace and security. Acting under Chapter VII, the practice of the UNSC has been less than consistent. The situations in Darfur and Libya were referred to the International Criminal Court. However, for Lebanon, also not a party to the Rome Statute, a separate tribunal was established. Serious questions arise as to whether the Council's actions undermine, rather than underpin, international justice. The Council’s reaction to the use of chemical weapons in Syria, also not a party to the Rome Statute, serves as another pertinent case study highlighting prima facie contradictory responses from the UNSC. Informed by international legal theory, this research conducts a critical analysis of the relationship between the UNSC and international justice. It seeks to reconcile the political realities of the Council with the judicial mandates of international courts and tribunals and the imperatives of international justice.