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‘Rules about rules’ and the endogenous dynamics of international law: Dissonance reduction as a mechanism of secondary rule-making


We can observe some developments that indicate a further strengthening of human rights and the rule of law even after 2001. These developments are puzzling as they occurred despite largely unfavourable scope conditions. This article offers an account of these developments that focuses on dynamics endogenous to the law. These internal dynamics provide a causal mechanism that sets in once a certain threshold of legalization has been reached. We employ the Hartian notion of secondary rules which we think is an especially helpful conceptual tool to analyse the endogenous dynamics of legal systems. To the extent that law is programmed towards consistency, secondary rules become necessary in an environment of rapidly increasing legal density to govern the complexity resulting from this proliferation of norms. Upholding consistency is necessary to maintain the autonomy of law in a Luhmannian sense and the ‘morality’ of the legal system in a Fullerian sense. Our goal is to show this and at the same move beyond an argument of system or normative functionality by identifying causal mechanisms that can explain the law’s built-in drive towards secondary rules, and that are in accordance with broader social science theory. We use some insights from cognitive psychology to develop these causal mechanisms further. While testing these causal mechanisms would be beyond the scope of this paper, we hope to provide the conceptual tools for future empirical research on the dynamics of secondary rule-making and offer some empirical illustrations to demonstrate how dissonance reduction operates in practice.

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1 See <>, accessed 9 April 2014.

2 See Abbott, KWet al., ‘The Concept of Legalization’ (2000) 54 International Organization; B Zangl and M Zürn, Verrechtlichung – Baustein für Global Governance? (Dietz Verlag, Bonn, 2004).

3 A von Bogdandy and I Venzke, ‘Zur Herrschaft internationaler Gerichte: Eine Untersuchung internationaler öffentlicher Gewalt und ihrer demokratischen Rechtfertigung’ (2010) 70 Zeitschrift für ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht; A von Bogdandy et al. (eds), The Exercise of Public Authority by International Institutions. Advancing International Institutional Law, Beiträge zum ausländischen öffentlichen Recht und Völkerrecht 210 (Springer, Heidelberg, 2010).

4 JA Frowein, ‘Konstitutionalisierung des Völkerrechts’ in CF Müller (ed), Völkerrecht und Internationales Privatrecht in einem sich globalisierenden internationalen SystemAuswirkungen der Entstaatlichung transnationaler Rechtsbeziehungen, Berichte der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Völkerrecht 39 (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Völkerrecht, Heidelberg, 2000) 427–47; M Kumm, ‘The Legitimacy of International Law: A Constitutionalist Framework of Analysis’ (2004) 15 European Journal of International Law.

5 Kingsbury, B, Krisch, N and Stewart, RB, ‘The Emergence of Global Administrative Law’ (2005) 68 Law and Contemporary Problems; N Krisch and B Kingsbury, ‘Global Governance and Global Administrative Law in the International Legal Order’ (2006) 17 European Journal of International Law.

6 B Zangl, Die Internationalisierung der Rechtsstaatlichkeit. Streitbeilegung in GATT und WTO (Campus, Frankfurt, 2006); A Nollkaemper, ‘Rethinking the Supremacy of International Law’ (2010) 65 Zeitschrift für öffentliches Recht.

7 Note, however, that according to Luhmann, consistency is an internal feature of the legal system, and does not require consistency with broader societal understandings that are not part of positive law. These non-legal norms, he argues, are ‘typically pluralistic’; hence demanding that the law be consonant with norms existing outside of the legal sphere would jeopardize legal certainty and predictability, which he views as central to the law’s ordering function. See N Luhmann, Das Recht der Gesellschaft (Suhrkamp, Frankfurt, 1993) 19, 78ff, 151ff, 223.

8 See Fuller, LL, The Morality of Law (Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, 1964).

9 Luhmann, N, Rechtssoziologie (Rowohlt, Reinbek, 1972).

10 Fuller (n 8) 42–94. In Fuller’s view the morality of a legal system is constituted by the mere features of a legal system – his eight principles of legality. To the extent that a legal system possesses these qualities, it deserves loyalty, or fidelity. Fuller and his contemporary HLA Hart were at loggerheads over the label of ‘morality’ for these eight principles of legality, which Hart preferred to call more modestly ‘principles of good craftsmanship’. See HLA Hart, Essays in Jurisprudence and Philosophy (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1983) 346. Hart maintained that Fuller’s assumption that a law which was created and applied in accordance with these principles would necessarily be moral could be easily refuted with reference to morally repugnant legal systems such as Germany under the Nazi reign and Apartheid South Africa. Contra Fuller, Hart claimed that adherence to these eight principles of legality was not a sufficient condition for the law’s morality. See Hart, Essays, 351. And indeed, Fuller’s attempt to substantiate his claim about a necessary connection between the law’s internal and external morality remains unsatisfactory. While he argues that empirically speaking, the two moralities usually go hand in hand, merely pointing to an empirical coincidence of the two moralities is not a very convincing theoretical answer to the question of whether Fuller’s internal morality of the law is compatible with considerably iniquity, as Hart alleged, and thus does not deserve to be called ‘morality’. See HLA Hart, The Concept of Law (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1961) 202; Fuller (n 8) 152–62.

11 This summary follows Brunnée, J and Toope, SJ, Legitimacy and Legality in International Law: An Interactional Account (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2010) 26. See Krisch, N, ‘Book Review: Jutta Brunnée & Stephen J Toope, Legitimacy and Legality in International Law’ (2012) 106 American Journal of International Law 203 for an illuminating review of this book.

12 Franck, TM, Fairness in International Law and Institutions (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1995) 8.

13 Hart, The Concept of Law (n 10) 91ff.

14 Hart (n 10) 209.

15 Hart (n 10) 208ff.

16 Hart (n 10) 90.

17 Hart (n 10) 90.

18 Hart (n 10) 91.

19 Hart (n 10) 208ff.

20 The general notions about norm contestations apply to secondary norms as well; see Wiener, A, The Invisible Constitution of Politics: Contested Norms and International Encounters (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2008).

21 Two major proponents of this view are R Dworkin, Law’s Empire (Belknap, Cambridge, MA, 1986) and J Habermas, Faktizität und Geltung (Suhrkamp, Frankfurt, 1992). Whereas Dworkin sees law as an argumentative practice in which integrity builds on both consistency (treating like cases alike) and justifiability in principled terms, Habermas derives the morality of law from the close connection to deliberative decision-making: the co-originality of democracy and law. See also Alexy, R, Theorie der juristischen Argumentation (Suhrkamp, Frankfurt, 1992).

22 Brian Tamanaha has listed a set of citations in favour of the rule of law, some of which were put forward by two-fisted authoritarian leaders. The widespread support for the rule of law therefore seems to be above all a function of different understandings of the meaning of the rule of law with a minimalist version utilized also by authoritarian leaders. See BZ Tamanaha, On the Rule of Law: History, Politics, Theory (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2004). See also T Carothers, ‘The Rule-of-Law Revival’ in T Carothers (ed), Promoting the Rule of Law Abroad: In Search of Knowledge (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington DC, 2006). The minimalist version, however, has little support in the academic realm.

23 See Summers, RS, ‘A Formal Theory of the Rule of Law’ (1993) 6 Ratio Juris 135.

24 See, e.g., Carothers (n 22) 4; Cass, R, The Rule of Law in America (Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 2001); J Waldron, ‘The Concept and the Rule of Law’ (2008) 43 Georgia Law Review; Waldron, J, ‘Representative Lawmaking’ (2009) 89 Boston University Law Review.

25 See, e.g., Chesterman, S, ‘An International Rule of Law?’ (2008) 56 American Journal of Comparative Law; Hurd, I, ‘Is Humanitarian Intervention Legal? The Rule of Law in an Incoherent World’ (2011) 25 Ethics and International Affairs.

26 For important contributions on international constitutionalization see, e.g., Dunoff, JL and Trachtman, JP (eds), Ruling the World: International Law, Global Governance, Constitutionalism (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2009); Krisch, N, Beyond Constitutionalism: The Pluralist Structure of Postnational Law (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2010); Halberstam, D, ‘Local, Global and Plural Constitutionalism: Europe Meets the World’ in Búrca, G de and Weiler, J (eds), The Worlds of European Constitutionalism (Cambridge University Press, New York, 2012) 150202; Habermas, J, Zur Verfassung Europas: Ein Essay (Suhrkamp, Berlin, 2011); Wiener, Aet al., ‘Global Constitutionalism: Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law’ (2012) 1 Global Constitutionalism 1; critically: D Grimm, ‘The Constitution in the Process of Denationalization’ (2005) 12 Constellations 447. See B Faude and B Staarmann, ‘Constitutionalism beyond the Nation-State: The State of the Field’ (unpublished working paper, WZB, 2013) for an encompassing literature review.

27 Krisch (n 26).

28 A von Bogdandy, ‘Prinzipien der Rechtsfortbildung im europäischen Rechtsraum. Überlegungen zum Lissabon-Urteil des Bundesverfassungsgerichts’ (2010) 63 Neue Juristische Wochenschrift; M Kumm, ‘The Cosmopolitan Turn in Constitutionalism: On the Relationship between Constitutionalism in and beyond the State’ in JL Dunoff and JP Trachtman (eds), Ruling the World: International Law, Global Governance, Constitutionalism (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2009) 258–325.

29 J Waldron, Law and Disagreement (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1999).

30 See Abbott et al. (n 2); KW Abbott and D Snidal, ‘Why States Act through Formal International Organizations’ (1998) 42 Journal of Conflict Resolution; B Koremenos, ‘What’s Left out and Why? Informal Provisions in Formal International Law’ (2013) 8 The Review of International Organizations 137; MA Pollack and GC Shaffer, When Cooperation Fails: The International Law and Politics of Genetically Modified Foods (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2009) and also KD Wolf and M Zürn, ‘Macht Recht einen Unterschied? Implikationen und Bedingungen internationaler Verrechtlichung im Gegensatz zu weniger bindenden Formen internationaler Verregelung’ in KD Wolf (ed), Internationale Verrechtlichung (Centaurus, Pfaffenweiler, 1993) 11–28. KW Abbott and D Snidal, ‘Law, Legalization, and Politics: An Agenda for the Next Generation of IL/IR Scholars’ in JL Dunoff and MA Pollack (eds), Interdisciplinary Perspectives on International Law and International Relations: The State of the Art (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2012) 33–58 provide a succinct overview; see also EM Hafner-Burton, DG Victor and Y Lupu, ‘Political Science Research on International Law: The State of the Field’ (2012) 106 The American Journal of International Law.

31 Abbott et al. (n 2).

32 Hart (n 10) 117ff.

33 Since there is no consensual definition of the terms ‘exogenous’ and ‘endogenous’ in the literature, we should note that our definition of exogenous refers to those drivers which are external to the legal system – such as political or economic developments – while endogenous dynamics are those that are internal to the law, such as the law’s built-in drive towards normative consistency.

34 Abbott, KW and Snidal, D, ‘Hard and Soft Law in International Governance’ (2000) 54 International Organization 423. See also Koremenos, B, Lipson, C and Snidal, D, ‘The Rational Design of International Institutions’ (2001) 55 International Organization 761.

35 Abbott and Snidal (n 34) 447.

36 Abbott and Snidal (n 34) 433.

37 Abbott and Snidal (n 34) 427, 429.

38 H Farrell and A Héritier, ‘Introduction: Contested Competences in the European Union’ (2007) 30 West European Politics; J Jupille, Procedural Politics: Issues, Influence, and Institutional Choice in the European Union (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2004); Jupille, J, ‘Contested Procedures: Ambiguities, Interstices and EU Institutional Change’ (2007) 30 West European Politics 301.

39 Jupille, Procedural Politics (n 38) 2.

40 Jupille, ‘Contested Procedures’ (n 38) 304.

41 Jupille, Procedural Politics (n 38) 5.

42 Farrell and Héritier (n 38) 231ff.

43 See archetypical Goldsmith, J and Posner, E, ‘A Theory of Customary International Law’ (1999) 66 University of Chicago Law Review 1113.

44 Postema, GJ, ‘Implicit Law’ (1994) 13 Law and Philosophy 366.

45 Some – AT Guzmán, How International Law Works: A Rational Choice Theory (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2008); K Raustiala, ‘Form and Substance in International Agreements’ (2005) 99 American Journal of International Law 581; JP Trachtman, The Economic Structure of International Law (Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 2008) – in a more, others – JL Goldsmith and EA Posner, The Limits of International Law (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2006) – in a less sophisticated way. Because of their narrow focus, however, these contributions form at best building blocks of a broader, more nuanced explanation of secondary rule-making which has yet to be developed.

46 Diehl, PF and Ku, C, The Dynamics of International Law (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2010).

47 Diehl and Ku (n 46) 2.

48 Diehl and Ku (n 46) 75 (emphasis in original).

49 Diehl and Ku (n 46) 84ff.

50 Necessity is, of course, an elusive variable.

51 Dworkin (n 21) 179ff.

52 See Luhmann (n 9).

53 Fuller (n 8) 162.

54 GJH van Hoof, Rethinking the Sources of International Law (Kluwer, Deventer, 1983) 101.

55 Dworkin (n 21) 180.

56 Brunnée and Toope (n 11) ch 2.

57 MacCormick, N, Rhetoric and the Rule of Law. A Theory of Legal Reasoning (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2005) 124.

58 Brunnée and Toope (n 11) 66. Law, in order to induce compliance, must therefore be in accordance with, or at least not starkly contradict, the wider practices and mores prevailing in society, because law is, ‘by its very nature … deeply implicated in the practices and conventions of the communities it governs’, G Postema (n 44) 377. Gerald Postema calls these practices and conventions ‘implicit law’, and this implicit law in turn determines whether the behavioural demands made upon the legal subjects by explicit laws are perceived as reasonable and legitimate.

59 Koskenniemi, M, From Apology to Utopia: The Structure of International Legal Argument (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2005).

60 Festinger, L, A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance (Stanford University Press, Stanford, CA, 1957) 2ff.

61 Festinger (n 60) 3.

62 D Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2011) pt 1.

63 Kahneman (n 62) 108ff.

64 This mechanism resembles the one which is well known to international institution students as entrapment through rhetorical action – see Schimmelfennig, F, The EU, NATO and the Integration of Europe: Rules and Rhetoric (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2003); F Schimmelfennig, ‘Strategic Action in a Community Environment: The Decision to Enlarge the European Union to the East’ (2003) 36 Comparative Political Studies 156 – or via the boomerang model, see Keck, ME and Sikkink, K, Activists beyond Borders: Advocacy Networks in International Politics (Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY, 1998); Risse, T, Ropp, SC and Sikkink, K (eds), The Power of Human Rights. International Norms and Domestic Change (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1999).

65 See also M Zürn, Interessen und Institutionen in der internationalen Politik: Grundlegung und Anwendung des situationsstrukturellen Ansatzes (Leske & Budrich, Opladen, 1992) 134.

66 This effect is even exponential. With one primary rule, there can be no collision, with two, we can have one collision, with four rules we can have six collisions and with 18 rules, one can have already 153 collisions.

67 Legal theorists who see morality inscribed to law implicitly accord a central role to this mechanism. See Dworkin (n 21) and Habermas (n 21).

68 For a more comprehensive analysis, see M Heupel, G Hirschmann and M Zürn, ‘Internationale Organisationen und der Schutz der Menschenrechte’ (unpublished manuscript, 6 August 2013).

69 Tamanaha (n 22) 78ff.

70 ILC Study Group on the Fragmentation of International Law, ‘Difficulties Arising from the Diversification and Expansion of International Law’, 11, UN Doc A/CN.4/L.682 (International Law Commission) (unpublished manuscript, 24 September 2012), available at <>, accessed 15 May 2014.

71 Hafner, G, ‘Pros and Cons Ensuing From the Fragmentation of International Law’ (2004) 25 Michigan Journal of International Law 861ff.

72 See Chapter XIV of the UN Charter.

73 See N Deitelhoff, Überzeugung in der Politik. Grundzüge einer Diskurstheorie internationalen Regierens (Suhrkamp, Frankfurt, 2006) for an explanation of the establishment of the ICC against the stated interest of the US.

74 Glennon, MJ, ‘The Blank-Prose Crime of Aggression’ (2010) 35 Yale Journal of International Law 72. After protracted debate, the UN General Assembly in 1974 finally adopted a resolution defining aggression, which, even though nonbinding in nature, is today widely regarded as forming part of customary international law. See A/RES/29/3314, 14 December 1974.

75 Glennon (n 74) 111.

76 International Criminal Court, Office of the Prosecutor, 9 February 2006, available at <>, accessed 19 August 2013.

77 When the Rome Statute establishing the ICC was adopted in 1998, the crime of aggression was included among the four core crimes falling within the ICC’s jurisdiction, yet no consensus could be reached on the exact definition of the crime, as well as the question of jurisdictional triggers. These questions were left to be resolved by the first Review Conference.

78 International Criminal Court (n 76).

79 A fourth issue that was hotly debated at Kampala was the process for amending the Rome Statute, which, however, will not be discussed in this article. Suffice it to note that States parties agreed to delay the exercise of jurisdiction over the crime of aggression until at least 2017. The implementation of the Kampala consensus is not only dependent upon 30 ratifications, but also requires a further decision by States parties to be made in 2017. See Resolution RC/Res.6, 11 June 2010, available at <>, accessed 11 April 2014. The resolution provides for the insertion of the following text after art 15 bis of the Rome Statute: ‘2. The Court may exercise jurisdiction only with respect to crimes of aggression committed one year after the ratification or acceptance of the amendments by thirty States Parties. 3. The Court shall exercise jurisdiction over the crime of aggression in accordance with this article, subject to a decision to be taken after 1 January 2017 by the same majority of States Parties as is required for the adoption of an amendment to the Statute.’

80 See Report of the Special Working Group on the Crime of Aggression, February 2009, Resolution ICC-ASP/7/20/Add.1, Annex II., at Annex to Appendix, reproduced in Barriga, S, Danspeckgruber, W and Wenaweser, C (eds), The Princeton Process on the Crime of Aggression: Materials of the Special Working Group on the Crime of Aggression, 2003–2009 (Princeton, Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination, 2009).

81 M Gillett, ‘The Anatomy of an International Crime: Aggression at the International Criminal Court’ (International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, 2013) (unpublished manuscript, 7 June 2013) 15, available at <>, accessed 19 August 2013.

82 See n 74 above.

83 Kress, C and von Holtzendorff, L, ‘The Kampala Compromise on the Crime of Aggression’ (2010) 8 Journal of International Criminal Justice 1179, 1190ff.

84 Statement by Harold Hongju Koh at the Review Conference of the International Criminal Court, Kampala, Uganda, 4 June 2010, available at <>, accessed 11 April 2014.

85 United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, ‘International Criminal Court Review Conference, Kampala, Uganda, 31 May–11 June, 2010. A Joint Committee Staff Trip Report Prepared for the Use of the Committee on Foreign Relations’, 111th Congress, 2nd Session, Comm. Print 111-55, 2 September 2010, available at <>, accessed 11 April 2014.

86 Trahan, J, ‘The Rome Statute’s Amendment on the Crime of Aggression: Negotiations at the Kampala Review Conference’ (2011) 11 International Criminal Law Review 49, 93.

87 See Annex III of Resolution RC/Res.6 (n 79).

88 The ILC draft is available at <>, accessed 15 May 2014.

89 Summers (n 23) 133.

90 United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations (n 85).

91 ‘Crime of Aggression: Statement by the United States’, 26 September 2001, available at <>, accessed 11 April 2014.

92 See Resolution RC/Res.6 (n 79).

93 Ibid.

94 Ibid.

95 Ibid.

96 Ibid.

97 Trahan (n 86) 91ff.

98 T Ruys, ‘Defining the Crime of Aggression: The Kampala Consensus’, Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies Working Paper No 57, January 2011, available at <>, accessed 11 April 2014.

99 Ruys (n 98).

100 See Zangl, B and Zürn, M, Frieden und Krieg. Sicherheit in der nationalen und post-nationalen Konstellation (Suhrkamp, Frankfurt, 2003) chs 8, 9; see M Binder, ‘Humanitarian Crises and the International Politics of Selectivity’ (2009) 10 Human Rights Review for the causes of the selectivity of international interventions and data on it.

101 International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS), ‘The Responsibility to Protect’ (International Development Research Centre, 2001) (unpublished manuscript) xi, available at <>, accessed 15 May 2014.

102 ICISS (n 101).

103 See, e.g., Reinold, T, ‘The Responsibility to Protect – Much Ado about Nothing?’ (2010) 36 Review of International Studies; Reinold, T, Sovereignty and the Responsibility to Protect: The Power of Norms and the Norms of the Powerful (Routledge, London, 2012); Stahn, C, ‘Responsibility to Protect: Political Rhetoric or Emerging Legal Norm?’ (2007) 101 American Journal of International Law.

104 Citizens for Global Solutions, ‘The Responsibility Not To Veto: A Way Forward’ (2010), available at <>, accessed 20 August 2013.

105 ICISS (n 101) 51.

106 A/61/47, 14 September 2007.

107 A/RES/48/26, 3 December 1993.

108 A/61/47, 14 September 2007.

109 Ibid.

110 Citizens for Global Solutions (n 104) 3.

111 A/66/L.42/Rev.1, 3 May 2012.

112 ‘Regarding our recommendation on the use of the veto we would like to underline, at the outset, that the S5 fully respects the Charter-based right to veto … our recommendations contain nothing radical or revolutionary. The first recommendation to explain the reasons for resorting to a veto is nothing fundamentally new since it is already practiced to some extent by the permanent members of the Security Council. The recommendation # 20 to refrain from using the veto to block action in situations of “atrocity crimes”… is in line with the 2005 World Summit resolution which states, in its paragraph 139, that “the international community, through the United Nations, also has the responsibility to use appropriate … means … to help protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity”’, Presentation of S5 Draft Resolution L.42 on the Improvement of the Working Methods of the Security Council, 4 April 2012, NLB CR-3, available at <>, accessed 20 August 2013.

113 Quoted in M Lynch, ‘Rise of the Lilliputians’, 10 May 2012, available at <>, accessed 20 August 2013.

114 Quoted in Lynch (n 113).

115 Citizens for Global Solutions (n 104) 7.

116 Quoted in Lynch (n 113).

117 See the UN Office of Legal Affairs’ opinion on that matter, available at <>, accessed 20 August 2013.

118 United Nations Department of Public Information, ‘Switzerland Withdraws Draft Resolution in General Assembly Aimed at Improving Security Council’s Working Methods to Avoid “Politically Complex” Wrangling’, 16 May 2012, available at <>, accessed 20 August 2013.

119 S/PV.6870, 26 November 2012.

120 Ibid.

121 Ibid.

122 V Lehmann, ‘Reforming the Working Methods of the UN Security Council. The Next ACT’, August 2013, available at <>, accessed 9 April 2014.

123 Lehmann (n 122) 5.

124 Ibid.

125 See Democratic Republic of the Congo v Belgium, Case Concerning the Arrest Warrant of 11 April 2000, International Court of Justice, 14 February 2002, 2002 ICJ Rep. 3, para 13, available at <>, accessed 20 August 2013.

126 Democratic Republic of the Congo v Belgium (n 125) paras 13–15.

127 Council of the European Union, ‘AU-EU Report on the Principle of Universal Jurisdiction’, 7, 12th Session of the AU-EU Ministerial Troika, 8672/1/09 REV1, 16 April 2009, available at <>, accessed 20 August 2013.

128 Democratic Republic of the Congo v Belgium (n 125) para 17.

129 Ibid para 21.

130 International Court of Justice, Case Concerning the Arrest Warrant of 11 April 2000 (Democratic Republic of the Congo v Belgium, Judgment of 14 February 2002), separate opinion of President Guillaume, para 1, available at <>, accessed 20 August 2013.

131 Democratic Republic of the Congo v Belgium (n 125) para. 11.

132 Ibid para 56.

133 Ibid para 54.

134 Ibid para 58.

135 Ibid para 61.

136 Ibid para 61.

137 Ibid para 1.

138 Ibid paras 5, 6.

139 Ibid para 59.

140 Ibid paras 57, 58.

141 Ibid para 36.

142 African Union Executive Council, ‘Progress Report of the Commission on the Abuse of the Principle of Universal Jurisdiction’, 16th session, 25–29 January 2010, available at <>, accessed 20 August 2013.

143 UN General Assembly, ‘The Scope and Application of the Principle of Universal Jurisdiction’, 65th session, UN Doc. A/RES/65/33, 10 January 2011, available at <>, accessed 20 August 2013.

144 Reinold, T, ‘Constitutionalization: Whose Constitutionalization? Africa’s Ambivalent Engagement with the International Criminal Court’ (2012) 10 International Journal of Constitutional Law 1076.

145 In 2012 the ICJ took a stance on the separate issue of the immunity of States from the jurisdiction of the courts of other States. In Jurisdictional Immunities of the State the Court had to decide whether or not Italy had acted unlawfully in allowing civil claims to be brought against Germany in Italian courts for Germany’s violations of international humanitarian law during World War II, and in seizing German property on Italian soil. See Germany v Italy: Greece Intervening, Jurisdictional Immunities of the State, International Court of Justice, 3 February 2012, 2012 ICJ Rep. 99, available at <>, accessed 8 April 2014. Germany had asked the court to find that Italy had violated the jurisdictional immunity which Germany was entitled to under customary international law (paras 15, 16). Italy, by contrast, argued that Germany was not entitled to immunity for two reasons: ‘first, that immunity as to acta jure imperii does not extend to torts or delicts occasioning death, personal injury or damage to property committed on the territory of the forum State’. Second, Italy maintained that because peremptory international law always trumps any inconsistent rule of international law, and because the immunity principle does not have peremptory status, the immunity principle had to give way (paras 61, 92). The Court rejected both arguments, concluding that Italy had violated the customary international law of sovereign immunity (paras 77–79, 91–97, 135, 139). Dissenting Judge Cançado Trindade, however, claimed that State immunities are a privilege which ought to be reassessed in light of ‘fundamental human values’, and that the gravity of the human rights violations Germany was accused of removed any bar to jurisdiction. See Germany v Italy: Greece Intervening, dissenting opinion of Judge Cançado Trindade, paras 40, 53–62, available at <>, accessed 8 April 2014. Dissenting Judge Yusuf in turn held that customary international law on sovereign immunities was currently in a state of flux and that the scope of the immunity principle had contracted over time. He also claimed that State immunity should not be interpreted in a vacuum, but had to be balanced against other norms of international law, including fundamental human rights and norms of international humanitarian law. See Germany v Italy: Greece Intervening, dissenting opinion of Judge Yusuf, paras 21–30, available at <>, accessed 8 April 2014.

146 Krisch, N, ‘More Equal Than the Rest? Hierarchy, Equality and U.S. Predominance in International Law’ in Byers, M and Nolte, G (eds), United States Hegemony and the Foundations of International Law (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2003) 152.

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