‘All the World’s a Stage’: Constituting International Justice at the ICC’s Assembly of States

A.M. de Hoon, Kjersti Lohne

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


In this chapter, the reader is taken on a tour through the diplomatic assembly (ASP) of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Whereas the ICC is a frontstage for the world that seeks to observe the production of justice for and on behalf of humanity, this chapter demonstrates how the ASP functions not only as the ICC’s backstage, but also as a frontstage in itself. Guided by the main theme of this book to bring to light the backstages of international law, this chapter argues that the annual ASP meetings represent a fundamental space that is an essential part of international criminal justice’s ‘self’. Whereas the ICC and its trials are the frontstage where performances of justice take place, the ASP appears as a key backstage: at the ASP meetings, international criminal law is made and negotiated, the ICC’s judges and prosecutors are chosen, the functioning of the ICC evaluated, and its budget set. In that perspective, the ICC is a product of what the ASP allows and provides, while in the eye of the public, the ICC is where the action occurs and what the limelight is on. Yet, as we show, the ASP is itself a frontstage for power and politics in international criminal justice, where political proxy battles take place, which find their way into the courtroom and in the (non-)cooperation with the ICC. As such, the chapter demonstrates the significance of the ASP for the study of international criminal justice.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBackstage Practices of Transnational Law
EditorsLianne Boer, Sofia Stolk
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9780429023583
ISBN (Print)9780367086572
Publication statusPublished - May 2019

Publication series

NameRoutledge Research in International Law


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