Hastings International and Comparative Law Review


In many recent and ongoing civil and international armed conflicts, arms brokers have violated United Nations embargos to deliver arms to known human rights violators in conflict zones. This illegal arms traffic significantly contributes to the commission of atrocities. However, arms brokers, who are uniquely difficult to both regulate and prosecute, continue to enjoy broad impunity under existing international and domestic law. International criminal law has developed legal theories and institutions to address impunity in situations of mass conflict. This note examines the feasibility of prosecuting arms brokers under international criminal law, and whether this growing area of law may help to address the weak political will which is a root cause of arms brokers' impunity.