Justice, Rule of Law and Impunity

  • 8 June 2021

    Briefing: ICC Sudan

    What's in Blue

    Tomorrow (9 June), the Security Council will convene in person to receive the semi-annual briefing of the ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, related to the Court’s work on Darfur. Bensouda, who will participate via videoconference, will provide her final briefing to...

  • Tomorrow (24 February) there will be an open videoconference Arria-formula meeting on: “Upholding the collective security system of the UN Charter: the use of force in international law, non-state actors and legitimate self-defense”. The meeting, which is being organised by...

  • Tomorrow (18 December), Security Council members will hold a virtual open debate on the promotion and strengthening of the rule of law, focusing on strengthening the cooperation between the Security Council and the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The president...

  • December 2020

    International Court of Justice

    Monthly Forecast

    In December, the Council will hold a briefing on “the promotion and strengthening of the rule of law, focusing on strengthening the cooperation between the Security Council and the International Court of Justice (ICJ)”. The president of the ICJ, Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, is expected to brief. The briefing is an initiative of South Africa as president of the Security Council in December. A presidential statement is a possible outcome.

  • 12 February 2020

    Transitional Justice Open Debate

    What's in Blue

    Tomorrow (13 February), the Security Council will hold an open debate on “transitional justice in conflict and post-conflict situations” under the peacebuilding and sustaining peace agenda item. The meeting, initiated by Belgium as this month’s Council president, will be presided...

  • February 2020

    Transitional Justice

    Monthly Forecast

    In February, the Council is expected to hold an open debate on transitional justice at the initiative of Belgium. The open debate will be held under the broader agenda item “peacebuilding and sustaining peace” and a concept note will be circulated ahead of the meeting. Belgium’s Foreign Minister, Philippe Goffin, is expected to preside. At press time, no outcome was anticipated. 

  • Tomorrow (9 January), the Council will hold a ministerial-level open debate on the topic of “Maintenance of international peace and security: upholding the UN Charter”. Viet Nam, Council president this month, is organising the open debate ahead of the 75th...

  • 23 December 2019

    The Rule of Law: Retreat from Accountability

    Research Report

    This is Security Council Report’s fifth research report on the rule of law. In it, we continue to explore the Security Council’s work in upholding individual criminal accountability as an aspect of its rule of law agenda in the context of its primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security. Through an examination of four situations the Council deals with regularly—Myanmar, Syria, Ukraine, and Yemen—the research report takes stock of and assesses the Council’s current attitude and actions in respect of accountability.

  • January 2020

    UN Charter

    Monthly Forecast

    In January 2020, Council president Viet Nam will convene a ministerial-level open debate on “Maintenance of international peace and security: upholding the UN Charter”. Viet Nam’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Pham Binh Minh, is expected to chair the meeting, and Secretary-General António Guterres is expected to brief. A presidential statement may be adopted during the meeting.

  • This afternoon (20 August), the Council is set to adopt a presidential statement drafted by Poland, focusing on international humanitarian law. This is to mark the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the universally ratified four Geneva Conventions, which regulate...

  • 12 August 2019

    Briefing on International Humanitarian Law

    What's in Blue

    Tomorrow (13 August), the Security Council will hold a briefing on “the 70th Anniversary of the Geneva Conventions – upholding humanity in modern conflict”, presided over by Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz. Briefers are expected to be ICRC President Peter...

  • In August, Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz is expected to preside over a briefing on “the promotion and strengthening of the rule of law in the maintenance of international peace and security: international humanitarian law”. The anticipated briefers are ICRC President Peter Maurer, the Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs, UN Legal Counsel Miguel de Serpa Soares, and Dr. Annyssa Bellal, senior research fellow and strategic adviser on international humanitarian law at the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights.

  • In April, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is expected to preside over a briefing on strengthening respect for international humanitarian law. The anticipated briefers are International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) President Peter Maurer, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock, and Naz Modirzadeh, founding Director of the Harvard Law School Program on International Law and Armed Conflict.

  • On Monday (11 March), France and Peru will co-host an Arria-formula meeting on “Human rights, accountability and justice: contributions to international peace and security”. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs Miguel de Serpa Soares, and former President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT) Theodor Meron, will brief Council members. This will mark the first time Bachelet has briefed Council members in her current capacity.

  • Over time, the Security Council has come to view upholding individual criminal accountability as integral to its responsibility for maintaining international peace and security. In some situations, the Council has approached this accountability as a practical tool that can have impact on the ground, aware, as well, that persistent impunity for gross violations of human rights and international humanitarian law may hamper its own ability to maintain or restore international peace and security.