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Vol. 4 (2023): Panoply Journal

Power Grab: Why States Cede Sovereignty to International Law

23 October 2023


Sovereignty and the rule of law are the cornerstones of modern-day statehood. Yet, in the aftermath of armed conflict since the end of the Second World War, various states have set up courts in order to prosecute war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and aggression, prompting these states to surrender sovereignty in their legal processes. These states have experienced armed conflict and subsequently utilized various mechanisms of international criminal law to provide redress for heinous violations of human rights committed within their territories. This article explores why some states voluntarily cede sovereignty to international law in the pursuit of prosecuting these crimes within their own borders and why they do so to varying degrees.

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