The Rise and Fall of the ICC in Libya and the Politics of International Surrogate Enforcership

Victor Peskin, Mieczyslaw P. Boduszynski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Under what conditions does the international community support the mission of global justice? Our article engages this question by examining the role played by international actors in the International Criminal Court (ICC) judicial intervention in Libya. While the international community and western states initially perceived the ICC as an effective diplomatic tool to delegitimize the Muammar Qadhafi regime, ensuing political developments during and after the 2011 war led these same states to retreat from their role as surrogate enforcers on behalf of the ICC. The Libya case is unique both for the high degree of consensus for an ICC referral in February 2011 and the subsequent sharp fall in support for The Hague-based Court. Drawing on fieldwork in Libya, The Hague, Brussels and Washington, DC, this article explains why changing diplomatic perceptions of the utility of the ICC's role in Libya undermined its effectiveness and legitimacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberijw001
Pages (from-to)272-291
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Transitional Justice
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


  • Darfur/Sudan
  • International Criminal Court
  • Libya
  • Surrogate enforcership

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law


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