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International criminal law is a body of
public international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally recognized as binding between s. It establishes normative guidelines and a common conceptual framework for states ac ...
designed to prohibit certain categories of conduct commonly viewed as serious atrocities and to make perpetrators of such conduct criminally accountable for their perpetration. The core crimes under international law are
genocide Genocide is the attempted destruction of a people, usually defined as an ethnic An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identity (social science), identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish t ...
,
war crime A war crime is a violation of the laws of war The law of war is the component of international law that regulates the conditions for initiating war (''jus ad bellum'') and the conduct of warring parties (''jus in bello''). Laws of war d ...
s,
crimes against humanity Crimes against humanity are certain acts that are purposefully committed as part of a widespread or systematic policy, directed against civilians, in times of war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Art ...
, and the
crime of aggression A crime of aggression is a specific type of crime where a person plans, initiates, or executes an act of aggression using state military force that violates the Charter of the United Nations. The act is judged as a violation based on its character, ...
. This article also discusses crimes against international law, which may not be part of the body of international criminal law. "Classical" international law governs the relationships, rights, and responsibilities of states. Criminal law generally deals with prohibitions addressed to individuals, and penal sanctions for violation of those prohibition imposed by individual states. International criminal law comprises elements of both in that although its sources are those of international law, its consequences are penal sanctions imposed on individuals.


Background

International criminal law is best understood as an attempt by the
international community The international community is a vague phrase used in geopolitics Geopolitics (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic ...
to address the most grievous atrocities. It has not been an ideal instrument to make the fine and nuanced distinctions typical of national law, for these shift focus from those large scale atrocities that "shock the conscience" with which it is concerned. This creates significant differences of analysis between the legal systems, notably for the concept of
legal intent In criminal law Criminal law is the body of law that relates to crime. It proscribes conduct perceived as threatening, harmful, or otherwise endangering to the property Property (''latin: Res Privata'') in the Abstract and concrete, abst ...
.


History

Some precedents in international criminal law can be found in the time before
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
. However, it was only after the war that a truly international crime tribunal was envisaged to try perpetrators of crimes committed in this period. Thus, the
Treaty of Versailles The Treaty of Versailles (french: Traité de Versailles; german: Versailler Vertrag, ) was the most important of the peace treaties A peace treaty is an agreement between two or more hostile parties, usually countries or government ...
stated that an international tribunal was to be set up to try
Wilhelm II Wilhelm II (Friedrich Wilhelm Viktor Albert; 27 January 18594 June 1941), anglicised as William II, was the last German Emperor (german: Kaiser) and King of Prussia, reigning from 15 June 1888 until Abdication of Wilhelm II, his abdication on Nove ...
of the
German Empire The German Empire or the Imperial State of Germany,, officially '.Herbert Tuttle Herbert Tuttle (1846–1894) was an American historian. Biography Herbert Tuttle was born in Bennington, Vermont Bennington is a New England town, town ...
. In the event, however, the Kaiser was granted asylum in the Netherlands. After
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, the Allied powers set up an international tribunal to try not only
war crimes A war crime is a violation of the laws of war The law of war is the component of international law that regulates the conditions for initiating war (''jus ad bellum'') and the conduct of warring parties (''jus in bello''). Laws of war d ...
, but
crimes against humanity Crimes against humanity are certain acts that are purposefully committed as part of a widespread or systematic policy, directed against civilians, in times of war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Art ...
committed by
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany, (lit. "National Socialist State"), ' (lit. "Nazi State") for short; also ' (lit. "National Socialist Germany") officially known as the German Reich from 1933 until 1943, and the Greater German Reich from 1943 to 1945, was ...

Nazi Germany
and
Imperial Japan The was a historical nation-state A nation state is a political unit where the state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of Sta ...

Imperial Japan
. The
Nuremberg Tribunal #REDIRECT Nuremberg trials #REDIRECT Nuremberg trials#REDIRECT Nuremberg trials#REDIRECT Nuremberg trials {{redirect category shell, {{R from other capitalisation{{R from move ... {{redirect category shell, {{R from other capitalisation{{R from ...
held its first session in 1945 and pronounced judgments on 30 September / 1 October 1946. A similar tribunal was established for
Japanese war crimes War crime A war crime is a violation of the laws of war The law of war is the component of international law that regulates the conditions for initiating war (''jus ad bellum'') and the conduct of warring parties (''jus in bello'') ...
(the
International Military Tribunal for the Far East The International Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE), also known as the Tokyo Trial or the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal, was a military trial convened on April 29, 1946 to try Try or TRY may refer to: Music Albums * ''Try!'', an album by ...
). It operated from 1946 to 1948. After the beginning of the war in
Bosnia Bosnia ( bs, Bosna / , ) is the north North is one of the four compass points The points of the compass are the vectors by which planet A planet is an astronomical body orbiting a star or Stellar evolution#Stellar remnants, stellar r ...

Bosnia
, the
United Nations Security Council The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization An intergovernmental organization (IGO) is an organization composed ...

United Nations Security Council
established the
International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) was a body of the United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization aiming to maintain international peace and international security, secu ...
(ICTY) in 1993 and, after the
genocide Genocide is the attempted destruction of a people, usually defined as an ethnic An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identity (social science), identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish t ...
in
Rwanda Rwanda, officially the Republic of Rwanda, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's b ...

Rwanda
, the
International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR; french: Tribunal pénal international pour le Rwanda; rw, Urukiko Mpanabyaha Mpuzamahanga Rwashyiriweho u Rwanda) was an international court established in November 1994 by the United Nation ...
in 1994. The
International Law Commission The International Law Commission (ILC) is a body of experts responsible for helping develop and codify international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards gen ...
had commenced preparatory work for the establishment of a permanent
International Criminal Court The International Criminal Court (ICC or ICCt) is an intergovernmental organization An intergovernmental organization (IGO) is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states (referred to as ''member states''), or of other organizatio ...

International Criminal Court
in 1993; in 1998, at a diplomatic conference in Rome, the
Rome Statute The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (often referred to as the International Criminal Court Statute or the Rome Statute) is the treaty A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in internation ...
establishing the ICC was signed. The ICC issued its first arrest warrants in 2005.


Sources of international criminal law

International criminal law is a subset of international law. As such, its sources are the same as those that comprise international law. The classical enumeration of those sources is in Article 38(1) of the 1946 Statute of the
International Court of Justice The International Court of Justice (ICJ; french: Cour internationale de justice, links=no; ), sometimes known as the World Court, is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmenta ...

International Court of Justice
and comprise:
treaties A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally recognized as bi ...
,
customary international law Customary international law is an aspect of international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally recognized as binding between nation A nation is a ...
, general principles of law (and as a subsidiary measure judicial decisions and the most highly qualified juristic writings). The
Rome Statute The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (often referred to as the International Criminal Court Statute or the Rome Statute) is the treaty A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in internation ...
governing the
International Criminal Court The International Criminal Court (ICC or ICCt) is an intergovernmental organization An intergovernmental organization (IGO) is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states (referred to as ''member states''), or of other organizatio ...

International Criminal Court
contains an analogous, though not identical, set of sources that the court may rely on.


Prosecutions

The prosecution of severe international crimes—including genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes—is necessary to enforce international criminal law and deliver justice to victims. This is an important component of
transitional justice Transitional justice is a procedure to respond to massive human rights violations that implements judicial redress, political reforms in a region or country, and other measures in order to stop human rights abuse. Transitional justice consists of j ...
, or the process of transforming societies into rights-respecting democracies and addressing past human rights violations. Investigations and trials of leaders who have committed crimes and caused mass political or military atrocities is a key demand of victims of human rights abuses. Prosecution of such criminals can play a key role in restoring dignity to victims, and restoring trusting relationships in society. James Waller concludes that


Limitations

International criminal law does not, at present, apply to armed opposition groups. Article 9 of the
Nuremberg Charter The Charter of the International Military Tribunal – Annex to the Agreement for the prosecution and punishment of the major war criminals of the European Axis (usually referred to as the Nuremberg Charter or London Charter) was the decree issued ...
states:
"At the trial of any individual member of any group of organization the Tribunal may declare (in connection with any act of which the individual may be convicted) that the group or organization of which the individual was a member was a criminal organization".
Article 9, which was used to prosecute membership in the
Schutzstaffel The ''Schutzstaffel'' (SS; also stylized as ''ᛋᛋ'' with Armanen runes The Armanen runes (or ''Armanen Futharkh'') are a series of 18 runes, closely based on the historical Younger Futhark, introduced by Austrian mysticist and Germ ...
(SS), allows the criminalization of certain organizations (presumably state-supported) and prosecution for membership by allowing individuals to be prosecuted where evidence was otherwise insufficient. It also has some implications concerning asset seizures,
reparations Reparation(s) may refer to: *Reparation (legal), the legal philosophy *Reparations (transitional justice), measures taken by the state to redress gross and systematic violations of human rights law or humanitarian law *Reparations for slavery, prop ...
and other payments for damages caused by violations of international law, but does not impose criminal responsibility on organizations in their capacity as organizations. Under Article 9, the SS and several Nazi other organizations were criminalized, including the Leadership Corps of the
Nazi Party The Nazi Party, officially the National Socialist German Workers' Party (german: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or NSDAP), was a far-right Far-right politics, also referred to as the extreme right or right-wing extremism, ...
.
Human rights Human rights are moral A moral (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. ...
standards have been applied to these groups in some cases, as the
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (the IACHR or, in the three other official languages Spanish, French, and Portuguese language, Portuguese CIDH, ''Comisión Interamericana de los Derechos Humanos'', ''Commission Interaméricaine des D ...
in Colombia until 1999. The application of human rights treaties to these groups remains the exception, rather than the rule. Human rights are usually understood conceptually as those rights individuals hold against the state, and some scholars argue that they are poorly suited to the task of resolving disputes that arise in the course of armed conflict between the state and armed opposition groups.


Institutions of international criminal law

Today, the most important institution is the
International Criminal Court The International Criminal Court (ICC or ICCt) is an intergovernmental organization An intergovernmental organization (IGO) is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states (referred to as ''member states''), or of other organizatio ...

International Criminal Court
(ICC), as well as several ''ad hoc'' tribunals: *
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) was a body of the United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization aiming to maintain international peace and international security, secu ...
*
International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR; french: Tribunal pénal international pour le Rwanda; rw, Urukiko Mpanabyaha Mpuzamahanga Rwashyiriweho u Rwanda) was an international court established in November 1994 by the United Nation ...
Apart from these institutions, some "hybrid" courts and tribunals exist—judicial bodies with both international and national judges: *
Special Court for Sierra Leone The Special Court for Sierra Leone, or the "Special Court" (SCSL), also called the Sierra Leone Tribunal, was a judicial body set up by the government of Sierra Leone and the United Nations to "prosecute persons who bear the greatest responsibili ...

Special Court for Sierra Leone
(investigating the crimes committed the
Sierra Leone Civil War The Sierra Leone Civil War (1991–2002), or the Sierra Leonean Civil War, was a civil war A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war between organized groups within the same Sovereign state, state (or count ...
) *
Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC; french: Chambres extraordinaires au sein des tribunaux cambodgiens (CETC); km, អង្គជំនុំជម្រះវិសាមញ្ញក្នុងតុលាការ ...
(investigating the crimes of the Red Khmer era) *
Special Tribunal for Lebanon The Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), also referred to as the Lebanon Tribunal or the Hariri Tribunal, is a International court, tribunal of international character applying Lebanon, Lebanese criminal law to carry out the investigation and pr ...
(investigating the assassination of
Rafik Hariri Rafik is the given name of: *Rafik Al-Hariri Rafic Bahaa El Deen Al Hariri ( ar, رفيق بهاء الدين الحريري; 1 November 1944 – 14 February 2005) was a Lebanon, Lebanese business tycoon and politician who served as the Pri ...
) * Special Panels of the Dili District Court * War Crimes Chamber of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina * Kosovo Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office Some domestic courts have also been established to hear international crimes, such as the
International Crimes Tribunal (Bangladesh) The International Crimes Tribunal (Bangladesh) (ICT of Bangladesh) is a domestic war crimes tribunal in Bangladesh set up in 2009 to investigate and prosecute suspects for the 1971 Bangladesh genocide, genocide committed in 1971 by the Pakistan ...
.


International Criminal Court

The International Criminal Court (french: Cour Pénale Internationale; commonly referred to as the ICC or ICCt) is a permanent
tribunal A tribunal, generally, is any person or institution Institutions, according to Samuel P. Huntington Samuel Phillips Huntington (April 18, 1927 – December 24, 2008) was an American political scientist, adviser and academic. He spent ...

tribunal
to prosecute individuals for
genocide Genocide is the attempted destruction of a people, usually defined as an ethnic An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identity (social science), identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish t ...
,
crimes against humanity Crimes against humanity are certain acts that are purposefully committed as part of a widespread or systematic policy, directed against civilians, in times of war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Art ...
,
war crime A war crime is a violation of the laws of war The law of war is the component of international law that regulates the conditions for initiating war (''jus ad bellum'') and the conduct of warring parties (''jus in bello''). Laws of war d ...
s, and the
crime of aggression A crime of aggression is a specific type of crime where a person plans, initiates, or executes an act of aggression using state military force that violates the Charter of the United Nations. The act is judged as a violation based on its character, ...
(although it cannot currently exercise jurisdiction over the crime of aggression).Article 5 of th
Rome Statute
Accessed 20 March 2008.
United Nations Department of Public Information, December 2002

. Accessed 5 December 2006.
The court's creation perhaps constitutes the most significant reform of international law since 1945. It gives authority to the two bodies of international law that deal with treatment of individuals: human rights and humanitarian law. It came into being on July 1, 2002—the date its founding
treaty A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally accepted in relat ...

treaty
, the
Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (often referred to as the International Criminal Court Statute or the Rome Statute) is the treaty A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in internation ...
, entered into forceAmnesty International (11 April 2002)
"The International Criminal Court – A Historic Development in the Fight for Justice"
Retrieved 20 March 2008.
—and it can only prosecute crimes committed on or after that date.Article 11 of th

Accessed 20 March 2008.
The court's official seat is in
The Hague The Hague ( ; nl, Den Haag or ) is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd ed ...

The Hague
,
Netherlands ) , national_anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = EU-Netherlands.svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = BES islands location map.svg , map_caption2 = , image_map3 ...

Netherlands
, but its proceedings may take place anywhere.Article 3 of th
Rome Statute
Accessed 20 March 2008.
The court can generally exercise
jurisdiction Jurisdiction (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be i ...
only in cases where the accused is a national of a state party, the alleged crime took place on the territory of a state party, or a situation is referred to the court by the
United Nations Security Council The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization An intergovernmental organization (IGO) is an organization composed ...

United Nations Security Council
.Articles 12 & 13 of th
Rome Statute
Accessed 20 March 2008.
It is designed to complement existing national judicial systems: it can exercise its jurisdiction only when national courts are unwilling or unable to investigate or prosecute such crimes.Article 17 of th

Retrieved 20 March 2008.
Article 20 of th

Retrieved 20 March 2008.
Primary responsibility to investigate and punish crimes is therefore left to individual states.International Criminal Court

Accessed 21 July 2007.
To date, the Court: It As of March 2011, three trials against four people are underway: two trials regarding the situation in the
Democratic Republic of the Congo The Democratic Republic of the Congo ( french: République démocratique du Congo (RDC) ), also known as Congo-Kinshasa, DR Congo, the DRC, the DROC, or the Congo, and formerly Zaire Zaire (, ), officially the Republic of Zaire (frenc ...

Democratic Republic of the Congo
and one trial regarding the
Central African Republic The Central African Republic (CAR; sg, Ködörösêse tî Bêafrîka; french: République centrafricaine, RCA; , or , ) is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or ...
. Another two people have been committed to a fourth trial in the situation of Darfur, Sudan. One confirmation of charges hearing (against one person in the situation of the DR Congo) is to start in July 2011 while two new cases (against a total of six persons in the situation of Kenya) will begin with the suspects' first appearances in April 2011. The judicial division of the court consists of 18 judges who are elected by the Assembly of State Parties for their qualifications, impartiality, and integrity, and serve nine-year, non-renewable terms. The judges are responsible to ensure fair trials, render decisions, issue arrest warrants or summonses to appear, authorize victims to participate, and order witness protection measures. They elect among themselves the ICC president and two vice presidents who head the court. The Court has three Judicial Divisions who hear matters at different stages of the proceedings: Pre-Trial, Trial, and Appeals. Pre-Trial: three judges decide if there is enough evidence for a case to go to trial, and if so, confirm the charges and commit the case to trial. They are responsible to issue arrest warrants or summonses to appeal, preserve evidence, protect suspects and witnesses, appoint counsel or other support for the defense, ensure that a person is not detained for an unreasonable period prior to trial, and safeguard information affecting national security Trial: three judges decide if there is enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty as charged, sentence those found guilty, and pronounce the sentence in public, order reparation to victims, including restitution, compensation and rehabilitation Appeal: five judges handle appeals filed by parties that confirm, reverse or amend a decision on guilt or innocence or on the sentence and potentially order a new trial before a different Trial Chamber. They also ensure that the conviction was not materially affected by errors or by unfairness of proceedings and that the sentence is proportionate to the crimes. The appeal judges are also empowered to confirm, reverse or amend an order for reparations revise the final judgment of conviction or the sentence, and hear appeals on a decision on jurisdiction or admissibility, interim release decisions and interlocutory matters The Court's Pre-Trial Chambers has publicly indicted 41 people, and issued arrest warrants for 33 others, and summonses to eight more. Seven people are currently in ICC detention. At the trial stage, there are 23 ongoing proceedings, as 12 people are at large as fugitives, three are under arrest but not in the Court’s custody, and one is appealing his conviction. Seventeen proceedings have been completed, resulting in three convictions, one acquittal, six had the charges against them dismissed, two had the charges against them withdrawn, one had his case declared inadmissible, and four died before trial. An example to illustrate the Court’s proceedings is Thomas Lubanga, 51, a Congolese warlord and the first person convicted by the Court for his crimes of recruiting and using child soldiers. In March 2012, Lubanga was found guilty and sentenced to 14 years in prison for abducting boys and girls under the age of 15 and forcing them to fight in for his army, the Force Patriotique pour la Libération du Congo (FPLC), in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Ituri region between 2002 and 2003. FPLC recruited children as young as 11 from their homes and schools to participate in an ethnic fighting, and many were taken to military camps, where they were beaten, drugged, and girls used as sex slaves. On January 13, 2006, the ICC Prosecution filed an application for the issuance of a warrant of arrest for Lubanga, which was granted by the Pre-Trial Chamber I on February 10, 2006. On March 17, 2006 Congolese authorities surrendered Lubanga to the Court, where he was held in their detention center in the Hague until March 20, 2006 where he made his first court appearance to confirm his identity, ensure he was informed of the crimes of which he was accused, and receive a counsel of defense. From August 26, 2011 to March 14, 2012, the Trial Chamber I, composed of judges from France, the Dominican Republic, and Hungary, heard Lubanga’s case, which included 36 witnesses, including 3 experts called by the Office of the Prosecutor, 24 witnesses called by the defense and three witnesses called by the legal representatives of the victims participating in the proceedings. The Chamber also called four experts and a total of 129 victims, represented by two teams of legal representatives and the Office of Public Counsel for Victims. Trial Chamber I unanimously found Lubanga guilty as a co-perpetrator of the war crimes of conscripting and enlisting children under the age of 15 and using them to participate actively in hostilities from 1 September 2002 to 13 August 2003.


International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), or the Tribunal pénal international pour le Rwanda (TPIR), is an
international court International courts are formed by treaties A treaty is a formal legally binding written agreement between actors in international law. It is usually entered into by sovereign states and international organizations, but can sometimes include i ...
established in November 1994 by the
United Nations Security Council The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization An intergovernmental organization (IGO) is an organization composed ...

United Nations Security Council
in Resolution 955 in order to judge people responsible for the
Rwandan genocide The Rwandan genocide occurred between 7 April and 15 July 1994 during the Rwandan Civil War The Rwandan Civil War was a large-scale civil war in Rwanda which was fought between the Rwandan Armed Forces, representing the country's governme ...
and other serious violations of the
international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally recognized as binding between nation A nation is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of anal ...
in
Rwanda Rwanda, officially the Republic of Rwanda, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's b ...

Rwanda
, or by Rwandan citizens in nearby states, between 1 January and 31 December 1994. In 1995 it became located in
Arusha Arusha is a city in north eastern Tanzania Tanzania (; ), officially the United Republic of Tanzania ( sw, Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania), is a country in East Africa East Africa or Eastern Africa is the eastern subregion of the ...
,
Tanzania Tanzania (; ), officially the United Republic of Tanzania ( sw, Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania), is a country in East Africa East Africa or Eastern Africa is the eastern subregion of the Africa Africa is the world's second-larges ...

Tanzania
, under Resolution 977. (From 2006, Arusha also became the location of the
African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights The African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights (the Court) is a continental court established by African countries to ensure protection of human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology, a s ...

African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights
). In 1998 the operation of the Tribunal was expanded in Resolution 1165. Through several resolutions, the Security Council called on the Tribunal to complete its investigations by end of 2004, complete all trial activities by end of 2008, and complete all work in 2012. The tribunal has jurisdiction over
genocide Genocide is the attempted destruction of a people, usually defined as an ethnic An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identity (social science), identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish t ...
,
crimes against humanity Crimes against humanity are certain acts that are purposefully committed as part of a widespread or systematic policy, directed against civilians, in times of war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Art ...
and
war crimes A war crime is a violation of the laws of war The law of war is the component of international law that regulates the conditions for initiating war (''jus ad bellum'') and the conduct of warring parties (''jus in bello''). Laws of war d ...
, which are defined as violations of Common Article Three and Additional Protocol II of the
Geneva Conventions file:Geneva Convention 1864 - CH-BAR - 29355687.pdf, upright=1.15, Original document as PDF in single pages, 1864 The Geneva Conventions are four Treaty, treaties, and three additional Protocol (diplomacy), protocols, that establish internatio ...
(dealing with war crimes committed during internal conflicts). So far, the Tribunal has finished 50 trials and convicted 29 accused persons. Another 11 trials are in progress. 14 individuals are awaiting trial in detention; but the prosecutor intends to transfer 5 to national jurisdiction for trial. 13 others are still at large, some suspected to be dead. The first trial, of
Jean-Paul Akayesu Jean-Paul Akayesu (born 1953 in Taba) is a former teacher A teacher, also called a schoolteacher or formally an educator, is a person who helps student A student is primarily a person enrolled in a school A school is an educa ...
, began in 1997.
Jean Kambanda Jean Kambanda (born October 19, 1955) is a Rwandan former politician who served as the Prime Minister of Rwanda in the caretaker government from the start of the 1994 Rwandan genocide. He is the only head of government to plead guilty to genocide, ...
, interim Prime Minister, pleaded guilty. According to the ICTR's Completion Strategy, in accordance with Security Council Resolution 1503, all first-instance cases were to have completed trial by the end of 2008 (this date was later extended to the end of 2009). On July 1, 2012, an
International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals The International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, also referred to as the IRMCT or the Mechanism, is an international court established by the United Nations Security Council in 2010 to perform the remaining functions of the Internati ...
will begin functioning with respect to the work begun by the ICTR. The ICTR has been called upon by the
United Nations Security Council The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization An intergovernmental organization (IGO) is an organization composed ...

United Nations Security Council
to finish its work by December 31, 2014, and to prepare its closure and transition of cases to the Mechanism.


International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

The International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia since 1991, more commonly referred to as the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia or ICTY, is a body of the
United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization aiming to maintain international peace and international security, security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a centre for harm ...

United Nations
established to prosecute serious
crimes In ordinary language, a crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper ...
committed during the
wars in the former Yugoslavia War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, Society, societies, or paramilitary groups such as Mercenary, mercenaries, Insurgency, insurgents, and militias. It is generally characterized by extreme violenc ...
, and to try their perpetrators. The tribunal is an ad hoc court which is located in
The Hague The Hague ( ; nl, Den Haag or ) is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd ed ...

The Hague
, the
Netherlands ) , national_anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = EU-Netherlands.svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = BES islands location map.svg , map_caption2 = , image_map3 ...

Netherlands
. The Court was established by Resolution 827 of the
United Nations Security Council The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization An intergovernmental organization (IGO) is an organization composed ...

United Nations Security Council
, which was passed on 25 May 1993. It has jurisdiction over four clusters of crime committed on the territory of the former
Yugoslavia Yugoslavia (; sh, Jugoslavija / ; sl, Jugoslavija ; mk, Југославија ;; rup, Iugoslavia; hu, Jugoszlávia; Pannonian Rusyn Image:Novi Sad mayor office.jpg, 250px, Mayor office written in four official languages used in the ...

Yugoslavia
since 1991: grave breaches of the
Geneva Conventions file:Geneva Convention 1864 - CH-BAR - 29355687.pdf, upright=1.15, Original document as PDF in single pages, 1864 The Geneva Conventions are four Treaty, treaties, and three additional Protocol (diplomacy), protocols, that establish internatio ...
, violations of the
laws or customs of war The law of war is the component of international law that regulates the conditions for initiating war (''jus ad bellum'') and the conduct of warring parties (''jus in bello''). Laws of war define sovereignty and nationhood, states and territo ...
,
genocide Genocide is the attempted destruction of a people, usually defined as an ethnic An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identity (social science), identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish t ...
, and
crime against humanity Crimes against humanity are certain acts that are purposefully committed as part of a widespread or systematic policy, directed against civilians, in times of war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Ar ...
. The maximum sentence it can impose is
life imprisonment Life imprisonment is any sentence Sentence(s) or The Sentence may refer to: Common uses * Sentence (law), the punishment a judge gives to a defendant found guilty of a crime * Sentence (linguistics), a grammatical unit of language * Sentence ...

life imprisonment
. Various countries have signed agreements with the UN to carry out custodial sentences. The last indictment was issued 15 March 2004. The Tribunal aims to complete all trials by mid-2011 and all appeals by 2013, with the exception of Radovan Karadžić whose trial is expected to end in 2012 and the appeal to be heard by February 2014. has been charged, however is still at large and thus do not fall within the court's completion strategy. On 1 July 2013, an
International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals The International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, also referred to as the IRMCT or the Mechanism, is an international court established by the United Nations Security Council in 2010 to perform the remaining functions of the Internati ...
will begin functioning with respect to the work begun by the ICTY. The ICTY has been called upon by the United Nations Security Council to finish its work by 31 December 2014 and to prepare its closure and transition of cases to the Mechanism.


Recognition of International Criminal Law in Domestic Jurisdictions


United Kingdom

Under section 51(1) of the International Criminal Court Act 2001,
genocide Genocide is the attempted destruction of a people, usually defined as an ethnic An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identity (social science), identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish t ...
and
crimes against humanity Crimes against humanity are certain acts that are purposefully committed as part of a widespread or systematic policy, directed against civilians, in times of war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Art ...
committed either in the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
or by United Kingdom
nationals Nationals may refer to: * People of a given nationality * A tournament or convention of national scope * Washington Nationals, a Major League Baseball team based in Washington, DC * Potomac Nationals, a former minor league baseball team in Woodbrid ...
abroad can be prosecuted but, as a dualist nation, other prosecutions can only be mounted where the United Kingdom has acceded to the treaties and conventions that create the offences including:
war crimes A war crime is a violation of the laws of war The law of war is the component of international law that regulates the conditions for initiating war (''jus ad bellum'') and the conduct of warring parties (''jus in bello''). Laws of war d ...
,
torture Torture is the deliberate infliction of severe pain or suffering Suffering, or pain in a broad sense, may be an experience of unpleasantness and aversion associated with the perception of harm or threat of harm in an individual. Suffering i ...

torture
, and
enslavement Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave, who is someone forbidden to quit their service for another person (a slaver), while treated as property. Slavery typically involves the enslaved person being made ...
and
forced labour Forced labour, or unfree labour, is any work relation, especially in modern Modern may refer to: History *Modern history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by archaeolog ...
offences. The criminal jurisdiction is presumed territorial in the absence of express words and based on the presence of the accused within the jurisdiction. There are a number of statutes that impose criminal liability on UK and/or non-UK nationals who commit particular acts outside the jurisdiction, but this can only be exercised where the individual is present or visits the United Kingdom, otherwise the UK
government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Departmen ...

government
would need to seek
extradition Extradition is an action wherein one jurisdiction Jurisdiction (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (fro ...
from the state in which he is located.


Legal person's criminal liability

It is a rule of
statutory interpretation Statutory interpretation is the process by which courts interpret and apply legislation. Some amount of interpretation is often necessary when a case involves a statute. Sometimes the words of a statute have a plain and a straightforward meanin ...
that unless a contrary intention appears, the word "person" includes any body of persons corporate or unincorporated. Thus, once the principle of
corporate liability Corporate liability, also referred to as liability of legal persons, determines the extent to which a company as a legal person In law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that ac ...
for the form of legal entity is accepted, the entity can be charged with any international offence no matter where it was committed in the same way as a natural person.


United States


U.S. implementation

Because United States federal criminal law is statutory, the relevant international criminal prohibition must have been incorporated directly into U.S. criminal law through
Congress Congresses are formal meetings of the representatives of different countries A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity ...

Congress
ional legislation before the matter can be prosecuted in United States Courts. Congress has enacted
statute A statute is a formal written enactment of a legislative A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) ...

statute
s covering genocide, war crimes, torture,
piracy Piracy is an act of robbery Robbery is the crime In ordinary language, a crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine publi ...

piracy
,
slavery Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave, who is someone forbidden to quit their service for an enslaver, and who is treated by the enslaver as their property Property is a system of rights that give ...
, and trafficking in women and children to meet the U.S. obligations under international agreements.


Canada


Natural persons

In
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, ...

Canada
, the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act, S.C. 2000 (CAHW) has incorporated the following as domestic crimes: genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, breach of responsibility by a military commander or a superior (usually a civilian superior), offences against the administration of justice of the
International Criminal Court The International Criminal Court (ICC or ICCt) is an intergovernmental organization An intergovernmental organization (IGO) is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states (referred to as ''member states''), or of other organizatio ...

International Criminal Court
, and possession or laundering of proceeds derived from these crimes. Normally, criminal jurisdiction is exclusively territorial, but CAHW invokes
universal jurisdiction Universal jurisdiction allows state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily ne ...
as defined in customary international law.


Legal persons

Companies are not expressly included or excluded from prosecution for international crimes under CAHW. but all the standard remedies in tort are available against corporations for activities committed outside the jurisdiction.


France


Natural persons

The new Criminal Code includes a series of provisions describing crimes against humanity in considerable detail, including genocide and aggravated war crimes. A limited number of international crimes have equivalents in
French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of co ...

French
domestic law, e.g., forced labour is the equivalent of illegal confinement. Extraterritorial jurisdiction is based on a connection with France through: *
nationality Nationality is a legal identification of a person in international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally recognized as binding between nation ...
of the perpetrator (active personality jurisdiction) of the crime or the victim (passive personality jurisdiction); *Events constituting the crime represent a connected series of acts or an indivisible act occurring both in France and another state, or where there were acts of complicity in France for a crime committed abroad, if the acts are criminal under all relevant systems of law; or *Concept of universality where French
public policy Public policy is an institutionalized proposal to solve relevant and real-world problems, guided by a conception and implemented by programs as a course of action created and/or enacted, typically by a government A government is th ...
interests are affected.


Legal persons

In French law, a civil action can be brought jointly with a penal action before a criminal court. Corporate liability is covered in Articles 121-2 of the new Criminal Code which provide that legal persons will be liable in the cases identified by the
Legislature A legislature is an deliberative assembly, assembly with the authority to make laws for a Polity, political entity such as a Sovereign state, country or city. They are often contrasted with the Executive (government), executive and Judiciary, ...
and Article 213-3 provides that legal persons may incur criminal liability for all crimes against humanity.


Norway


Natural persons

Norwegian Norwegian, Norwayan, or Norsk may refer to: *Something of, from, or related to Norway, a country in northwestern Europe *Norwegians, both a nation and an ethnic group native to Norway *Demographics of Norway *The Norwegian language, including the ...

Norwegian
municipal law incorporates specific areas of international law, but there must be a matching penal provision in the domestic criminal law as a precondition to enforcement. Norway is a signatory to the International Criminal Court which has complementary jurisdiction to municipal criminal courts, albeit that the local courts have precedence to prosecute the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression. Norway prosecutes international crimes using domestic penal law, e.g., genocide can be treated as
homicide Homicide is an act of a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structu ...

homicide
, torture as an offence against the person, etc. Norwegian criminal law is applicable to acts committed abroad by any Norwegian national or any person domiciled in Norway when the act is a
felony A felony is traditionally considered a crime of high seriousness Seriousness (noun; adjective: ''serious'') is an attitude of gravitas, gravity, :wikt:solemnity, solemnity, persistence, and :wikt:earnest, earnestness toward something considered t ...
under the law of the country in which it is committed. There is a general discretion to decline a prosecution which occurred in a case brought against the
Israeli Prime Minister The Prime Minister of Israel ( he, רֹאשׁ הַמֶּמְשָׁלָה, Rosh HaMemshala, Head of the Government, Hebrew acronyms, Hebrew acronym: he2, רה״מ; ar, رئيس الحكومة, ''Ra'īs al-Ḥukūma'') is the head of government ...
.


Legal persons

If a business entity domiciled in Norway is involved in unlawful activity committed outside the jurisdiction, both civil and criminal actions are available subject to the rule of "double actionability", i.e., the activity must have been unlawful under the laws of both Norway and the country of commission. The Norwegian Code of Compensation allows actions for damages for the loss and damage arising from the breach of international law. Civil jurisdiction is based on residence or temporary personal presence for natural persons and the place where the board of directors has its seat. Non-nationals can be sued in Norway if any business activity occurs in Norway. The court must be ''conveniens'', i.e., objectively competent in a local and functional way and, in some cases, this requires the defendant's consent.


Germany

Germany has incorporated international criminal law into its domestic legal system in 2002 with the creation of the Völkerstrafgesetzbuch ("Code of Crimes against International Law").


See also

* Legal Tools (database on International Criminal Law) *Command responsibility *Criminal law#Criminal law jurisdictions, Criminal law *Incitement to genocide *
International Criminal Court The International Criminal Court (ICC or ICCt) is an intergovernmental organization An intergovernmental organization (IGO) is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states (referred to as ''member states''), or of other organizatio ...

International Criminal Court
*International Criminal Police Organization *International law *Rule of Law in Armed Conflicts Project (RULAC) *World Day for International Justice


Notes


References

* John E. Ackerman and Eugene O'Sullivan, ''Practice and Procedure of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia with selected materials from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda''. The Hague etc.: Kluwer Law International, 2002, xxi + 555 pp.  * (fr) Jean Albert (dir.), L'avenir de la justice pénale internationale, Institut Presage, Bruylant, 2018, 383 p. () *Daniele Archibugi and Alice Pease,
Crime and Global Justice. The Dynamics of International Punishment
'. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2018, 288 pp. . * Ilias Bantekas, Susan Nash, Mark Mackarel, ''International Criminal Law''. London etc.: Cavendish, 2001, lvi + 323 pp.  * M. Cherif Bassiouni, ''Introduction to International Criminal Law''. Ardsley, NY: Transnational Publishers, 2003, xxxvi + 823 pp.  * Yves Beigbeder, ''Judging War Criminals. The Politics of International Justice''. Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1999, xvii + 230 pp.  * Kriangsak Kittichaisaree, ''International Criminal Law''. Oxford etc.: Oxford University Press, 2002, xxxi + 482 pp.  * Hans Köchler, Global Justice or Global Revenge, ''Global Justice or Global Revenge? International Criminal Justice at the Crossroads'', Vienna / New York: Springer, 2003, ix + 449 pp.  * Mark Osiel, ''Making Sense of Mass Atrocity''. Cambridge University Press, 2009, vii + 257 pp. . * Gerhard Werle and Florian Jessberger (eds.), ''Principles of International Criminal Law''. Oxford etc.: Oxford University Press, 3rd. ed. 2014, * Lyal Sunga, Lyal S. Sunga, ''The Emerging System of International Criminal Law: Developments in Codification and Implementation''. Kluwer, 1997, 508 pp.  * Lyal Sunga, Lyal S. Sunga, ''Individual Responsibility in International Law for Serious Human Rights Violations''. Nijhoff, 1992, 252 pp.  * Alexander Zahar and Goran Sluiter, ''International Criminal Law: A Critical Introduction''. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007, xlviii + 530 pp.  *Anatoly V. Naumov and Alexei G. Kibalnik (eds), ''International Criminal Law. 4th ed.'' Moscow: Yurait Publ., 2019, 509 p.

'


External links


The International Criminal Court

The Hague Justice Portal
publishes developments in The Hague courts, tribunals and organisations including the International Court of Justice, the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, and the International Criminal Court. * – provides access to several databases on human rights and international criminal law
United Nations Rule of Law
the
United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization aiming to maintain international peace and international security, security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a centre for harm ...

United Nations
' centralised website on the rule of law.
Online Journal of International Law

Cambodia Tribunal Monitor

Peace Palace Library - Research Guide

Critical Approaches to International Criminal Law
{{law International criminal law,