Recently, scholars have questioned whether enforcement mechanisms are
necessary to make regimes effective. This article provides a model of the
international criminal regime in which the regime changes state behavior
even though it possesses no enforcement mechanisms. The article also
answers several prominent criticisms of the International Criminal Court
(ICC). Critics claim that the ICC is at best futile because it lacks the
power to apprehend the criminals it is meant to prosecute. Even worse, the
ICC may be harmful because it will induce atrocious leaders to hold on to
power longer than they would if they could step down with immunity for
past crimes. The model in this article suggests those criticisms may be
inaccurate. I model the interaction between a leader and a foreign state
that has the option of offering that leader asylum. I examine the effect
of the creation of an ICC-like institution on that interaction. The model
produces three main findings. (1) Leaders' reigns will not be
prolonged as a result of the regime. (2) Although the institution has no
enforcement power, some leaders (those with such a high probability of
being deposed that they would willingly surrender to the institution
rather than try to stay in office) will be punished by it. In those
circumstances, the foreign state has no incentive to offer the leader
asylum. (3) The institution may deter some atrocities at the margin.
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