Article

International Criminal Law

Ilias Bantekas

in International Law

ISBN: 9780199796953
Published online March 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199796953-0001
International Criminal Law

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  • International Law
  • International Courts and Tribunals
  • Private International Law and Conflict of Laws
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International criminal law (ICL) is a discipline that straddles public international law and criminal law. It is premised on the notion that, much like domestic criminal justice systems that enforce penal laws against transgressors, individuals should also be liable under international law in respect of international crimes. The notion of international criminality started to become part of mainstream international relations only at the end of World War II with the prosecution of Nazi officials. Before World War II the criminal liability of individuals was explained only in terms of criminal law and the narrow jurisdictional ambit of states. Since 1945, however, it is universally recognized that the basis of liability for the majority of international crimes, if not all, is international law. Up until the early 1990s (that is, during the Cold War) scholarly output on ICL was limited by the fact that very few prosecutions had taken place before national courts and the majority of these involved crimes committed in the course of World War II. On the whole, commentators had few resources and, by the late 1980s, the legal armory of ICL was still reliant on the case law of military tribunals associated with World War II, which were compiled by the UN War Crimes Commission. With the establishment by the UN Security Council in 1993 and 1994 of the first international criminal tribunals since Nuremberg, a plethora of jurisprudence came into existence and soon replaced the need to rely on its predecessor. This era witnessed the full-blown emergence of ICL as a discrete legal discipline and the need for textbooks arose.

Article.  10961 words. 

Subjects: International Law ; International Courts and Tribunals ; Private International Law and Conflict of Laws ; Public International Law

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