The Laguna Workshop

From November 28 to 30, 2012, UC Irvine School of Law, with the generous support of Humanity United and the cooperation of the UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations, hosted leading diplomats, activists, and academics in Laguna Beach, California, to consider how to improve the United Nations Security Council’s support of the International Criminal Court. This website provides some basic background for those interested in the subject and our report, The Council and the Court, released in May 2013.

The Laguna Workshop focused first on key background questions: What factors influence Security Council decisions with respect to the International Criminal Court?  To what extent are such outcomes driven by dynamics among the Member States on the Council itself (or influential Members outside the Council)?   To what extent are they driven by the interests, goals, and policies of individual states?  What are the principal influences and policymaking processes for key governments?

The Workshop also moved beyond the abstract and theoretical to consider the optimal strategy for building near-term and long-term international support for the work of the ICC. What are the Court’s core needs? What kinds of support from the Council would help the Court achieve its goals? Are there areas of improvement where might concentrate research and advocacy, such as the consistency and coherence of referral decisions? Are there forms of support that might prove counterproductive? Are there things the Court could do to improve cooperation? How can supporters of the Court build a long-term process that advances the Court’s objectives while preserving the interests of skeptics? Who are the key players in building that support?

With the support of Humanity United, UC Irvine and UCLA had already devoted considerable effort to exploring these questions, conducting research in New York, London, Moscow, and Beijing. The Laguna Workshop aimed especially to drill down into the dynamics on the Council and the policy objectives of key Member States of the UN.