|Title||Turning the focus inwards: the decision-making process in the security council and the international rule of law|
The United Nations Security Council is entrusted under the UN Charter with primary responsibility for the maintenance and restoration of the international peace; it is the only body with the power to legally authorise military intervention and impose international sanctions where it decides. However, its decision-making process has hitherto been obscure and allegations of political bias have been made against the Security Council in its responses to potential international threats. Despite the rule of law featuring on the Security Council’s agenda for over a decade and a UN General Assembly declaration in 2012 establishing that the rule of law should apply internally to the UN, the Security Council has yet to formulate or incorporate a rule of law framework that would govern its decision-making process.
This thesis explains the necessity of a rule of law framework for the Security Council before analysing existing literature and UN documents on the domestic and international rule of law in search of concepts suitable for transposition to the arena of the Security Council. My analysis emerges with eight core components, which form a bespoke rule of law framework for the Security Council. I then evaluate the Security Council’s decision-making process since 1990 against this framework, illustrating where and how the rule of law has been undermined or neglected in its behaviour. I conclude by finding that the Council and other bodies are unwilling or unable to adequately regulate the decision-making process against a suitable rule of law framework, before arguing for the establishment of a Rule of Law Tribunal as a subsidiary organ to the Council under its Charter powers that would be solely responsible for both the regulation of Council practice and judicial review of its decisions.