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The Human Rights Mandate of a Prosecutor of an International Criminal Trial

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image of International Criminal Law Review

There is no trial that is worth human suffering. This is the secret behind the successful marriage of human rights and international criminal law. Whenever there is a right, there must be a guard. The prosecutor, as the driving force of international criminal proceedings, must ensure that a case is investigated and proceeds to trial with respect and protection of the rights of persons involved, especially the accused. The autonomy and discretion accorded to the prosecution is functional and tactical in as far as it enables it to lead the course of justice. Following its exclusive control of investigations, the prosecution determines whether and when to commence a trial. It decides which material is to form part of the deliberations and may seek that an incompetent trial is suspended or strike a plea bargain. This article explores the components of the obscure human rights mandate of the prosecutor.

Affiliations: 1: University of Fort Hare, East London, Eastern Cape, South Africa,


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