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Negotiating Sovereignty and Human RightsInternational Society and the International Criminal Court$
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Sibylle Scheipers

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780719080098

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719080098.001.0001

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The sovereigntist discourse

The sovereigntist discourse

(p.82) 5 The sovereigntist discourse
Negotiating Sovereignty and Human Rights

Sibylle Scheipers

Manchester University Press

This chapter addresses sovereigntist discourse. Sovereigntism bears similarities to the legalistic discourse in as much as it equates order with the rule of law. Yet according to sovereigntists, legal institutions have to be embedded in constitutional structures, which the international society of states is largely lacking. For this reason, sovereigntists consider the domestic level of states as the only viable and legitimate venue for the enforcement of human rights. They emphasise that courts are only able to guarantee due process if they are incorporated into the constitutional structures and democratic checks and balances within a state. For sovereigntists, international legal institutions rest upon the consent of single states. Viewed from this perspective, advocates of sovereigntism also criticise the universal aspirations of the ICC, as it claims to have jurisdiction over citizens of non-party states.

Keywords:   sovereigntism, rule of law, international society, human rights enforcement, ICC

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