Who keeps international commitments and why? The international criminal court and bilateral nonsurrender agreements


Journal Article

What do countries do when they have committed to a treaty, but then find that commitment challenged? After the creation of the International Criminal Court, the United States tried to get countries, regardless of whether they were parties to the Court or not, to sign agreements not to surrender Americans to the Court. Why did some states sign and others not? Given United States power and threats of military sanctions, some states did sign. However, such factors tell only part of the story. When refusing to sign, many states emphasized the moral value of the court. Further, states with a high domestic rule of law emphasized the importance of keeping their commitment. This article therefore advances two classic arguments that typically are difficult to substantiate; namely, state preferences are indeed partly normative, and international commitments do not just screen states; they also constrain.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Kelley, J

Published Date

  • August 1, 2007

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 101 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 573 - 589

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1537-5943

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0003-0554

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1017/S0003055407070426

Citation Source

  • Scopus