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2. Why and Where Should International Crimes Be Prosecuted?

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Chapter Summary

The Rome Statute builds on two main assumptions: the first is that international crimes must not go unpunished; the second is that the crimes should preferably be prosecuted at the national level. The two purposes can also be seen as parts of superior purposes, including the preservation of international peace and security and the safeguarding of state sovereignty. Identifying the purposes of the Rome Statute and the purposes of the complementarity principle is essential: First, because the purposes may influence the interpretation and application of the Statute's provisions governing the complementarity principle. Second, because understanding the purposes might clarify the role that the ICC should play and thus indicate how the authority to interfere should be used. In addition to exploring the underlying purposes, this chapter critically assess whether national prosecutions really are preferable to international prosecutions.

Keywords: complementarity principle; international crimes; international peace; international prosecutions; national prosecutions; Rome statute; state sovereignty

10.1163/ej.9789004169098.i-536.12
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