Custom, General Principles and the Great Architect Cassese
Mary D. Fan
University of Washington - School of Law
November 29, 2012
10 J. Int'l Crim. Just. 1063 (2012)
University of Washington School of Law Research Paper No. 2012-20
Major advances in international criminal law and procedure rose on the trusses of judicially-elucidated sources of international law − custom and general principles. These sources depend on the crucial art of derivation greatly advanced by the architect of modern international criminal justice, President Antonio Cassese. What has transformed international criminal justice into flourishing law able to address changing configurations of violence is the development of the art of finding law in the dark and wilds of murky unwritten norms. President Cassese pioneered paths through the perilous bog.
‘[T]he law lives in persons,’ and to understand the law one must study the vision of the persons who animate the law, another great scholar and judge teaches. In that spirit, this article explores advances in the art of elucidating custom and general principles in international criminal justice through the lens of President Cassese’s legacies and views on legality, sovereignty and the imperatives of humanity. The result are major landmarks in the prosecution of international crimes, such as developing protections in armed conflict and against sexual violence – and also progress in developing defenses and protections for the accused. The article distills lessons to guide the elucidation of customary international law and general principles from national systems and to regulate the transposition of concepts from national criminal law into international criminal law.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 19
Keywords: International Criminal Law, Interpretation, Custom, General Principles, Sources of International Law, Nullum Crimen Sine Lege, Legality, Antonio Cassese, Nino Cassese
Date posted: November 29, 2012 ; Last revised: December 14, 2012