Judgment of International Crimes at National and International Level: Between Justice and Realpolitik (Cnjuiciamiento de Crímenes Internacionales en el Nivel Nacional e Internacional: Entre Justicia y Realpolitik

16 Pages Posted: 17 May 2010

See all articles by Kai Ambos

Kai Ambos

University of Goettingen (Gottingen)

Abstract

The paper tries to demonstrate que the prosecution of international crimes at the supranational and national level meets various limitations and problems that, one way or the other, can be traced back to the common theme of Realpolitik. The International Criminal Court continues to be an institution in progress and cannot resolve over night centuries long problems of impunity for serious human rights violations. Too high expectations and demands may in the end be counterproductive and lead to the collapse of the ICC. The Rome Statute provides for a very special triggering procedure and (preliminary) investigation. This explains in part why the Prosecutor has not yet opened any investigation (Art. 53 ICC Statute) on the basis of mere communications of the victims (infra 1.). Another reason is that the Prosecutor and the Court depend on the cooperation of states (2.); and this cooperation only occurs if the respective state agrees with the intervention of the ICC or at least tolerates it. While there are certainly ways to put pressure on states that refuse to cooperate (3.) the need of such pressures shows that the Court has already lost. In any case, the final objective of the prosecution of international crimes is not only the prevention of impunity (human rights aspect) but also to improve the national justice systems as a whole (judicial reform aspect) (4.). The principle of universal jurisdiction, as refined as in the German legislation, is only a solution of emergency and may have counterproductive effects (5.).

Note: Downloadable document is in Spanish.

Keywords: International Criminal Court, prosecution of international crimes, universal jurisdiction, Realpolitik

Suggested Citation

Ambos, Kai, Judgment of International Crimes at National and International Level: Between Justice and Realpolitik (Cnjuiciamiento de Crímenes Internacionales en el Nivel Nacional e Internacional: Entre Justicia y Realpolitik. Politica Criminal, No. 4, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1609231

Kai Ambos (Contact Author)

University of Goettingen (Gottingen) ( email )

Platz der Göttinger Sieben 5
Göttingen, 37073
Germany

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