Award of Hardiman PhD scholarship

Jun 06 2019 Posted: 10:25 IST



Parisa Zangeneh is a lawyer and is currently a consultant at the Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide. She has completed internships in Chambers at the International Criminal Court, the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, the Special Court for Sierra Leone, and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. 




PhD Topic


The present legal framework of the International Criminal Court (“ICC”) depends on the participation of states for it to function, and it also seeks to place the primary responsibility for prosecutions of international crimes on states, which is also known as the principle of complementarity. However, the Rome Statute, the foundational document of the ICC, does not contain a definition of what constitutes a “state”. In the future, states will inevitably dissolve and re-form themselves, and the ICC will not be able to engage with all actors that are not clearly recognized as states. Also, indigenous groups, which may need to request the ICC’s assistance, do not clearly fall under the presumption of statehood upon which the ICC is based. This research seeks to fill the gaps in our knowledge regarding why and how the ICC has been designed to interact only with states and not with the multitude of actors that may need its assistance.