Journal Article

The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia: The Third Wang Tieya Lecture

Mohamed Shahabuddeen

in Chinese Journal of International Law

Volume 11, issue 1, pages 13-44
Published in print March 2012 | ISSN: 1540-1650
Published online January 2012 | e-ISSN: 1746-9937 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/chinesejil/jmr050
The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia: The Third Wang Tieya Lecture

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International criminal justice is a relatively new field of international law. For this reason alone, it excites curiosity. Minute traces of the new development are to be found in the years preceding the Treaty of Versailles. The provisions of that treaty relating to the subject were less than credibly performed. The International Military Tribunal caught the attention of jurists for a while, but thereafter the matter went in practice into a 50-year somnolence until re-awakened in 1993 by the establishment of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. The reason why an interest has to be taken in the subject exceeds the novelty of the field: it has to do with substance. The traditional immunity of presidents or heads of government, prime ministers and other functionaries acting in an official capacity no longer prevails; the doctrine of superior orders is inapplicable except, where appropriate, as in mitigation; and the gap between international armed conflict and internal armed conflict has closed. More generally, the bridge has been crossed between the responsibility of the State and the criminal liability of the individual. As a result, the traditional impunity of actors for the State has practically gone. Judge Wang Tieya helped in this process and merits grateful thanks.

Journal Article.  15317 words. 

Subjects: International Law

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