Wednesday 18 Jul 2018 | 05:43 | SYDNEY
Wednesday 18 Jul 2018 | 05:43 | SYDNEY

Road to UNSC goes via the ICC

9 September 2008 15:24

Guest blogger: Toby Collis is a Lowy Institute intern and Macquarie U. law student.

Last week saw some media activity on Australia’s bid for a seat on the UN Security Council. The Government announced this goal in March. 

The message of the SMH article was that while Australia’s bid should be lauded, getting the required support may prove impossible. Dr Marianne Hanson, of the University of Queensland, suggested Australia’s perceived lack of independence from US foreign policy will prejudice our chances of a seat. Also mentioned was the tough competition for the seat, with UN Ambassador Robert Hill admitting that standing against opponents such as Finland, which has ‘played a significant role in trying to conciliate the end of disputes’, will be ‘hard to beat’. The Lowy Institute’s Fergus Hanson was quoted on the problems Australia faces in adequately ‘schmoozing’ Africa (notwithstanding increased Australian investment in the region).

If we are going to bid for the 2012 election, a big step in the right direction would be to seek nomination for the upcoming International Criminal Court (ICC) election of judges. An Australian judge on the court would achieve a couple of goals. Firstly, it would place us on a more even footing with UNSC competitors like Finland, which at present has a sitting member on the ICC. Secondly, such tangible support for the ICC may create distance between Australia and the US, considering open US opposition to this court.