ABSTRACT

This chapter examines early Security Council decision making on Syria and the concerted effort by small and middle power states to promote justice for victims of international crimes by referring the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court. It focuses on the Syria referral meeting by examining the broader trends of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) decision making, which is increasingly shaped by human rights, changing understandings of sovereignty, and justice and accountability norms. The cahpter traces the UNSC's involvement in the Syrian civil war, demonstrating that support for justice and accountability for the Syrian people was widespread among UN members who linked the protection of human rights and the rule of law with UN Charter principles. For much of the Security Council's history, a state's treatment of its own population was considered to be within the domestic realm of the state.