The security council and the International Criminal Court - when can the security council defer a case?
This paper discusses the deferral power of the Security Council under Article 16 of the Rome Statute. It analyses the drafting history, provision and practice of Article 16 with a view to identifying the requirements that a situation should meet before the article may be invoked by the Security Council. The purpose is to provide guidance on the legal terrain within which the Security Council is authorized to act under Article 16, especially in light of its inconsistent invocation of the deferral power. The paper argues: firstly, that, being a creature of the law, the Security Council is governed and qualified by the law; and secondly, that Article 16 has unambiguously provided the parameters within which the Security Council should exercise its deferral power.