Contracting Human Rights
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Contracting Human Rights

Crisis, Accountability, and Opportunity

Edited by Alison Brysk and Michael Stohl

By chronicling the continuing contest over the reach, range, and regime of rights, Contracting Human Rights analyzes the way forward in an era of many challenges. This multidisciplinary book contributes to building understanding of the maturation of human rights, from a dissident doctrine to a dynamic parameter of global governance and civil society. Through an examination of both global and local challenges to human rights, including loopholes, backlash, accountability, and new opportunities to move forward, this book analyzes trends across multiple-issue areas.
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Chapter 12: Retreat or retrenchment? An analysis of the International Criminal Court’s failure to prosecute presidents

Crisis, Accountability, and Opportunity

Kirsten Ainley


The International Criminal Court (ICC) has failed in its first decade of operation to overcome the challenges of operating in an environment of great power politics. Rather than upholding human rights for all, the Court has only prosecuted Africans, and it has proved toothless in the face of some of the most appalling rights violations in recent times. This chapter examines the extent to which the ICC is biased or dysfunctional and considers the ways in which the Court can refocus on its human rights mandate in the face of opposition from an increasing number of its own States Parties.

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