International Criminal Law

International Criminal Law

  • Mampolokeng Monyakane added an answer:
    Is anybody aware of high quality studies on how developing countries can recover some of the money stolen by their corrupt dictators?

    In my research I have found plenty of literature on the causes and consequences of corruption and kleptocratic regimes. However, there is painfully little advice available for countries trying to recover the billions stolen by their dictators, for example Egypt trying to trace and recover money stolen by the Mubarak family, Indonesia with Suharto, Nigeria with Sani Abacha, etc. In the latter case, Swiss banks have now apparently offered to return $380 million of Nigeria's money, which sounds good but is really only a cheap PR stunt given that Abacha stole at least 2 and probably closer to 5 billion dollars from his country.

    Mampolokeng Monyakane · University of South Africa

    Just to ask? Can stolen traditional or indigenous knowledge benefits be reimbursed to traditional knowledge holders or atleast their concerned states. What scale can be used?

  • Steve Russell added an answer:
    What are the benefits of ratifying the International Criminal Court?

    while ratifying ICC statute the questions like sovereignty, its effective implementation arises, so why should country ratify it or why should not?

    Steve Russell · Indiana University Bloomington

    The benefit is exactly the same as the benefit to having trials at Nuremberg rather than just hanging everybody the victors wished to hang as a privilege of winning the war, as both Mr. Stalin and Mr. Churchill advocated and history taught would not be completely out of line.

    This is a case where my political adhesion to a "sovereign" Indian nation confers an advantage.

    That is, I understand how waving the bloody red shirt of sovereignty can cover a multitude of sins.

    I understand that sovereignty as understood in the modern world is a remnant of the personhood of the sovereign, the king or queen, and as such it has attributes that might not exist if the world had conferred at Westphalia to design the new order in a broader sense.

    I understand that what might be termed a bureaucratic view of sovereignty was novel in the sweep of history at the time Europe invaded the Americas, a novelty that has since demonstrated it has drawbacks.

    Impunity for evil acts is not a good thing.  The Rome Statute purports to cabin the authority of the ICC by specifying a few especially inhuman acts that can have repercussions far beyond any national borders.  But the fact is that ending the impunity is a limitation of Westphalian sovereignty.

    Does anybody prattle about the "sovereignty" of Rwanda when they regret the genocide?  Intervention, if it's ever "excused," can be excused by claiming that order had broken down such that it needed restoration from outside the nation.  But even recognizing the excuse invites trumped up interventions.  Why not subject interventions to law?  

    Law has a track record better than other forms of politics of giving the powerless some hope when confronted by the interests of the powerful.

    I think that, when history judges whether the Rome Statute is a harbinger or a dead end, the answer will turn more on the procedure than the substance.  We can agree on substantive limitations on national sovereignty if we can ditch the folklore, but the devil is in the details, and the details are procedural.

    The question is not whether the Rome Statute is a limitation on sovereignty.  Of course it is.

    The questions re the upside of adhering to the procedures of the ICC are exactly the same as for any rule of law on any level.  Can we agree that we should not have an understanding of sovereignty that enables this behavior?  Are the procedures to determine whether the behavior in fact took place fair?

    The difference is the power imbalance among nations and that difference and how to finesse it is the central political problem.

  • Barry Turner added an answer:
    Are there benefits of the application of international criminal justice in post war countries?

    Are there any empirical evidence that International criminal justice (ICJ) do help post war countries?

    In post war countries where usually corruption is rife and  majority of the population live below the poverty line, can ICJ be of priority for the population or more a means of setting international precedent? 

    Also if it can be argued that ICJ is important for post war countries, how can it be applied so that the affected people can feel a part of the process considering the ICC for example which hearings and procedures are held thousands of miles away from where the crimes being tried occurred.

    Any answers or articles on these topics will be highly appreciated

    Barry Turner · University of Lincoln

    The purpose of the ICJ is not to 'help' post war countries but to bring criminals to justice.  Other agencies exist to help with reconciliation and reconstruction.  If we do not take severe action against war criminals then they will, as stated by Sarah above be emboldened.  We know this from national criminal justice systems.  The most potent incentive for continuing with criminality is the feeling of being beyond the reach of the law.  Why would a serial rapist or mass murderer be inclined to stop if they know that all they face at the end of the conflict is a 'visit to the confessional'.

    Victims of war criminals like to see them punished and if we are to denounce atrocities then we must punish them too.  I do agree with Bridget that any system must be perceived as just but is that not the case with any criminal justice system?  Why is it assumed that international criminal justice is automatically unjust?  

    It might be worth considering that after WW1 there were no war crimes trials (those that started were abandoned) That certainly did not bring about reconciliation on the part of any of the former combatants.  After WW2 the Nuremberg trials were far from perfect in terms of legality and justice but they did draw some lines in the sand about the conduct of war.  

    I have done some research in this area especially to do with the use of cross jurisdictional evidence in war crimes trials.  There is often a problem with how this is obtained, collated and analysed before litigation but that is a technical problem, not one that would bring the entire process into question.  

  • Stefan Gruner added an answer:
    Are unproven unscientific theories accepted in court?

    Many miscarriage of justice cases have occurred because experts give their expert opinions based on theories which lack sound scientific foundations.  Some theories gain acceptance based on very little verification and even remain in use despite being shown to be unsound. 

    An example is Shaken Baby Syndrome, where despite the basis of the theory being falsified in that the triad of injuries upon which the theory relies being found in natural deaths where no abuse or non accidental injury has occurred, the theory remains deployed. 

    Similarly Münchausen Syndrome by Proxy has been deployed and, despite judicial recognition of its poor scientific foundations, and in consequence of it, the theory has been renamed.  It was redeployed initially as 'Factitious Illness by Proxy' ('FIBP') and later "Fabricated or Induced Illness" ("FII") appears to have taken over.

    Stefan Gruner · University of Pretoria

    Related work by Martin Olivier: follow the link given below.


  • Joaquín Sarrión added an answer:
    Prisons housing inmates sentenced by the ICTY, ICTR and SCSL
    Me and a group of researchers from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam are conducting research on the level of custody and the range of services provided to prisoners who have been sentenced by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL). Inmates sentenced by these courts are serving their sentences in a variety of countries that have participating agreements with the tribunals. At present, there are ICTY, ICTR and SCSL inmates spread around 14 European countries (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and UK) and 4 African countries (Benin, Mali, Rwanda and Tanzania).

    I would appreciate any information you have regarding:
    - correction system in any of these countries
    - individual prisons where these inmates are housed
    - the level of security and custody provided, and
    - any information about the daily routine they experience, including recreational, educational, and other rehabilitation services
    Joaquín Sarrión · University of Valencia

    Dear Patricia, 

    I would be very happy to assist and help to your research regarding Spain, if it is actually active. Let me know too. Regards

  • Bruno Dias added an answer:
    Has individual accountability, particularly after the trial of Charles Taylor, become an inviolable norm of international law?
    The Nuremberg Trials set the tone for the evolution of a host of norms that eventually found their reflection in the Rome Statute. With over 122 Ratifications, the Rome Statute has come to be a guiding light on its own merit casting its luminance on those functions of sovereigns that hitherto were protected from 'public scrutiny'. There are serious debates as to whether by subscribing to the ICC nations are forsaking their sovereignty. The number of ratifications however are reflective of the emergence of a consensus amongst nations that no regime must violate individual right to life and dignity in the name of sovereign impregnability. Charles Taylor's conviction seems to suggest that the consensus is not merely a vote for morality. Or, is it?
    Bruno Dias · Universidade Paranaense (UNIPAR)
    Good Morning Srinivasan,

    Agreed. And let's carry on the debate so we can keep the flame in academic fora and incite it to the political level.

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