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International Criminal Law, Humanitarian Law and the Responsibility of States for Choice of Forum and Effective Enforcement

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Chapter Summary

International criminal law has expanded, over the past decade, to the point where there is now a selection of enforcement mechanisms. This chapter focuses on three primary models of accountability for international crimes: the International Criminal Court (ICC), ad hoc international or regional tribunals, and prosecution and punishment by national courts. The ICC is the most defensible model on the basis of procedural fairness and formulation of theoretical and juridical underpinnings of the emerging legal discipline of international criminal law. The current shortcomings of the ICC are structural and relate directly to the constraints imposed upon it by the Rome Statute, ratified on April 11, 2002. The chapter concludes that States have the dual responsibility of encouraging enforcement and upholding the rule of law both on the international stage and within their territorial boundaries. This must be achieved while respecting civil liberties, due process guarantees, and human dignity.

Keywords: ad hoc international tribunal; civil liberties; International Criminal Court (ICC); regional tribunals



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