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Home » Archive » Vladimir Tochilovsky, The Law And Jurisprudence Of The International Criminal Tribunals And Courts

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Vladimir Tochilovsky, The Law And Jurisprudence Of The International Criminal Tribunals And Courts
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Recent years have seen a dramatic increase – in both their number and typology – of international tribunal and courts at work across the globe. The United Nations have established special international criminal tribunals in order to prosecute those responsible for atrocities during times of (civil) war in Rwanda and Yugoslavia. Subsequently, the International Criminal Court (2003) has been established in 2003. More recently, other special tribunals have been set up in order to deal with crimes committed in Sierra Leone, Cambodia and East Timor. Students of these courts and tribunals often ponder over the following type of questions: Can these bodies be regarded as courts of law in the proper sense; that is, possessing distinct institutional characters differentiating them from other institutions, such as ombudsmen and amnesty and truth commissions? Is criminal justice – apart from the two international courts set up at the end of the second World War – no longer an exclusive prerogatives of the States? Does this mean that retributive justice is preferred to revenge or amnesia; that is, to restorative justice? Or does it imply, in case of a failure of legal institutions aiming at ensuring retributive justice, that crimes (both war crimes and crimes against humanity) are left without punishment, thus undermining the credibility of justice as such?

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