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The Convergence of the Common Law and Inquisitorial Systems in International Criminal Law

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Chapter Summary

International criminal law is a legal fiction; it is deemed to exist whereas in reality, it is still a work in progress. The creation of international criminal law as a physical and legal entity is a byproduct of necessity. The Rules of Procedure and Evidence of both the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) state categorically that the tribunals are not bound by any principle of national law. The convergence of the common law and inquisitorial systems of law in international criminal law is fraught with difficulties because of the differences between the systems. Both the adversarial and inquisitorial trial aim to expose the guilt or innocence of the accused but the way in which they arrive at this destination differs. The rules restricting the admissibility of hearsay evidence are an invention of the common law.

Keywords: common law; ICTY; inquisitorial systems; International Criminal Court (ICC); International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR); international law



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