The International Criminal Court and the Traditional Principles of International Cooperation in Criminal Matters
THE FINNISH YEARBOOK OF INTERNATIONAL LAW (FYBIL), Vol. IX, pp. 413-426, Martinus Artinus Nuroff Publishers, 2000
9 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2011
Date Written: 2000
Speaking about the ICC and traditional principles of international criminal law appears somewhat Contradictory since, at first sight, the newly-founded ICC has nothing to do With these traditional principles. In fact, I believe that the very idea of a permanent International Criminal Court as understood by the: like-minded states and the Global Coalition of NGO's (consisting of more than 800 NGOs), i.e. as an efficient judicial instrument for fighting World-wide impunity in cases of serious violations of human rights, as.a rnechanism to criminalize such human rights violations, is per definitionem incompatible with principles of international criminal law in the traditional sense, as these principles, i.e. in particular reciprocity, double criminality, ne bis in idem, speciality, non.extradition for certain (political) offenses, non-extradition of nationals, are based on the concept of the almost absolute sovereignity of states, a principle which has always constituted a major obstacle to international cooperation in-criminal matters and which also runs counter to the very idea of an ICC with universal jurisdiction. It is due to this difference that the traditional inter-national cooperation in criminal matters can be characterized as 'horizontal' while the cooperation between an ICC and states is, at least from a structural point of view, 'vertical'.
A closer analysis, however, quickly reveals that this image of an almost exclusive antagonism between- international cooperation in a traditional sense and a supranational criminal just-ice would only be correct in an extreme situation, i.e. if, on the one band, we were dealing with a strongly sovereignty-orientated law of international cooperation and, on the other hand, with an efficient, universally competent ICC. As will be seen below, this does not reflect the reality created by the Rome Statute. Rather, the Statute confirms the impression that both areas of law have approached each other in recent decades: whereas, particularly in the European context, the law of international cooperation tends to abolish, or at least reduce, the traditional requirements and obstacles of cooperation,1 the Rome Statute contains many concessions to state sovereignty. Prof. Plachta has correctly characterized the cooperation regime of the Rome Statute by a triple C: 'Cooperation, coordination and consultation? Let us now take a closer look at the principles established. by the Rome Statute in relation to the traditional principles of international cooperation in criminal matters. Two major concessions as an expression of traditional principles latu sensu.
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