A Spirited Discussion of the Proposal To Create an International Anticorruption Court

As longtime readers of this blog are likely aware, over the years I’ve had the opportunity to participate in debates over the proposal to create an International Anti-Corruption Court (IACC), modeled on but separate from the International Criminal Court. Though sympathetic to the motives behind this proposal, I have been consistently skeptical (see, for example, here and here). Despite skepticism from me and others, dogged and effective advocacy by IACC proponents have convinced some governments to formally embrace the idea. Perhaps most notably, in Canada both the Liberal and Conservative parties have endorsed the idea, and Canada’s Foreign Minister has been formally instructed by the Prime Minister to work with international partners to help establish an IACC.

Inspired by these developments, the Anti-Corruption Law Program at the University of British Columbia’s Allard School of Law held an online webinar two weeks ago on the proposal to create an IACC. I was invited to be a part of this conversation, along with three distinguished co-panelists: Juanita Olaya Garcia (a lawyer and member of the International Expert Panel for the Open Government Partnership), Peter MacKay (former Canadian Minister of Justice in the cabinet of Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper), and Allan Rock (former Canadian Minister of Justice in the cabinet of Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chrétien). Although we had quite diverse perspectives–with Mr. MacKay and Mr. Rock advocating for the IACC, and Ms. Garcia and I sounding more skeptical notes–the conversation, ably moderated by Roy Cullen, was, in my humble opinion, respectful and constructive, and I hope readers interested in this debate will find the discussion helpful in clarifying some of the important questions and issues that this provocative proposal raises..

Those who are interested can find a recording of the webinar here. (There are some introductory remarks at the beginning; for those who want to skip right to the substantive debate, that begins at about the 6:10 mark.)