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Strategic Studies

For future human rights policy and practice.

Strategic Studies is an initiative of Amnesty International Netherlands. Since 2013 Strategic Studies has been mapping out national and international social, political and legal developments which can affect the future of human rights and the work of Amnesty International in particular.

Latest publication: Legal Futures of the International Criminal Court

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is under attack. In September 2018 the US national security adviser John Bolton called the ICC an “illegitimate court”. President Paul Kagame of Rwanda has said in the past that “the ICC is made for Africans and poor countries”. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel called an ICC investigation into war crimes allegedly committed by his country “absurd”. Nonetheless, 123 states are currently a party to the treaty establishing the Court. What lies ahead for this contested international body?

The Strategic Studies Team of Amnesty International Netherlands commissioned the Hague Institute for Innovation of Law (HiiL) to deliver future scenarios for the ICC. Twenty years after the signing of the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court, HiiL delivered the study Legal Futures of the International Criminal Court.

At the core of the HiiL study is the scenario method – an exploratory tool in which a possible set of future conditions are described. These scenarios facilitate thinking about policy and structural responses. Scenarios are not predictions: they are closer to simulations in which multiple trends converge. In conversations with experts through interviews and workshops, three overarching trends were identified as most relevant for the ICC:  fragmenting governance, social cohesion under stress, and accelerating technology.

These three trends became the basis for two scenarios – one in which selected current trends continue and one in which they reverse.

Legal Futures of the International Criminal Court does not necessarily reflect positions of Amnesty International, its Dutch section or the Strategic Studies Team.

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Changing Perspectives on Human Rights

The Changing Perspectives on Human Rights series explores possible implications of relevant social, political, legal and technological trends for the future of human rights and the work of human rights organizations. The essay volumes consists of original, critical and forward-looking essays by leading academics and practitioners working in the human rights domain.

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Shifting Power and Human Rights Diplomacy

The Shifting Power and Human Rights Diplomacy series focuses on rising powers and their current and potential roles in the international protection and promotion of human rights. It contains volumes with original essays on the human rights foreign policy of rising global and regional powers, which are distributed to key strategic leaders in ministries, think tanks, universities and NGO’s working on human rights, democracy and rule of law.

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Questions? Please e-mail us or leave us a tweet @StrategyAmnesty

Lars van Troost

Senior policy and strategy adviser, Amnesty Nederland