The International Criminal Court (ICC) is the first and only standing international court capable of prosecuting humanity's worst crimes: gecide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. It faces huge obstacles. It has police force; it pursues investigations in areas of tremendous turmoil, conflict, and death; it is charged both with trying suspects and with aiding their victims; and it seeks to combine divergent legal traditions in an entirely new international legal mechanism. International law advocates sought to establish a standing international criminal court for more than 150 years. Other, temporary, single-purpose criminal tribunals, truth commissions, and special courts have come and gone, but the ICC is the only permanent inheritor of the Nuremberg legacy. In Building the International Criminal Court, Oberlin College Professor of Politics Ben Schiff analyzes the International Criminal Court, melding historical perspective, international relations theories, and observers' insights to explain the Court's origins, creation, invations, dynamics, and operational challenges.
Benjamin N. Schiff is Professor of Politics at Oberlin College, Ohio, teaching international relations; international law and organization; Middle East politics; war, weapons, and arms control; and international criminal law. From 2005-6, he was Visiting Professor of Law at Leiden University's Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies. He is author of two previous books on international organizations and co-author of a book on South Africa during its transition to democracy. He was Foreign Affairs Officer, US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (1978-9) and was educated at the University of California, Berkeley (PhD, 1982; MA, 1975) and Michigan State University (BA, 1973).