Relationship between the ICC and UNSC - Prosecuting International Crimes


  • Dr. Amit Anand
  • Dr. Preethi Lolaksha Nagaveni
  • Ms. Aakanksha Madaan
  • Ms. Ummul Waraah


The International Criminal Court shares a ‘complex’ relationship with the United Nations Security Council especially with respect to fulfilling its role as the principal judicial organ responsible for prosecuting international crimes and maintaining international peace and security. Much of the debate largely focuses around balancing the UNSC’s mandate at the international level (often guided by political factors) on one hand and ensuring impartiality of the ICC’s proceedings on the other. The current debate on the complexity of the relationship between a political body such as the UNSC and a judicial body like the ICC also has a heavy bearing on the understanding and advancement of International Criminal Law jurisprudence. One of the main issues in the complex relationship between the ICC and the UNSC is of the Security Council’s referral practice, which has been criticized for placing a number of limitations on the jurisdiction of the international criminal court and also placed considerable financial strain on the ICC investigations. This has also led to States Parties limiting their cooperation with the international criminal court. This paper, therefore, sheds light on the limitations of the court’s jurisdiction resulting from the Security Council’s power of referral under the Rome Statute.