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Human Rights at the International Criminal Court: Testing the Limits of Judicial Discretion

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The future of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is uncertain. The system established by the Rome Statute of the ICC ensures that priority is given to domestic prosecutions, while at the same time, it imbues international values into national systems. The approach of the Court to the rights of the accused and victims’ rights poses challenges. In the Al Senussi complementarity decision, the ICC refused to act as a human rights court and rendered the case inadmissible, notwithstanding the death penalty threatening the accused if tried in Libya. Does the same reasoning hold true in other circumstances? The article explores the relationship between human rights law and international criminal law with specific reference to the principle of complementarity and argues that judicial discretion is central in the assessment of the degree of human rights protection at the ICC.

Affiliations: 1: Postdoc, iCourts, Centre for Excellence for International Courts, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark


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