Question of Trust: The Role of the ICJ in the Prevention and Suppression of International Crimes

This paper argues that there is an increasing role for The International Court of Justice (ICJ) to play in the prevention of international crimes. The ICJ, in its 2007 decision on the Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide (Bosnia-Herzegovina v Serbia-Montenegro) and more recently this year in the Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide (The Gambia v Myanmar) has demonstrated that the court can exercise a range of powers to prevent international crimes. Trust or conversely distrust in the power of this court, depends on the extent to which the ICJ itself can oversee compliance with its judgements and the extent to which states themselves feel confident, to use their rights of standing to initiate cases that impact on the prevention of international crimes. This paper examines the power of the ICJ to prevent international crimes and the confidence the global society can repose in this court.