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Criminal Proceedings before the International Criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda

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image of The Law & Practice of International Courts and Tribunals

The ad hoc Criminal Tribunals have shown, by their case law, how practically to go about judicial enforcement of international humanitarian law at the international level and have guided the formation of other international and mixed criminal courts. Following the precedent set at the Nuremberg trials, the most important legacy of the ad hoc Tribunals has been the development and effective enforcement of the entire body of international humanitarian law put into place since the end of World War II, which seeks to maintain a proper balance between prosecuting individuals for grave breaches of international humanitarian law and upholding due process norms including protection of the rights of the accused. The path paved by the ad hoc Tribunals is crucial for the future regulation of the behaviour of States and individuals in times of conflict and has triggered increased attention to and enforcement of international humanitarian law in various other jurisdictions, including, in the first place, in the International Criminal Court. These are some of the author's conclusions following an analysis of the challenges faced by the ad hoc Tribunals.


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