Editorial - Law Should Govern: Aspiring General Principles for Transnational Criminal Justice
10 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2013
Date Written: September 26, 2013
‘Law should govern’ reads Aristotle’s apodictic phrase in Politics 3.16 – a phrase which has gone on to form a core aspect of the rule of law. Consequently, justice systems abide by the maxim that disputes are to be settled by impartial and independent courts following predefined procedures and thereby ensuring equality before the law. To abide by these principles is particularly important in the field of criminal justice, because criminal proceedings affect the individual – be it the alleged wrongdoer or the supposed victim – as well as the wider society. Criminal investigations, prosecutions and subsequent trials must closely follow precise procedures, balancing the different interests at stake whilst adhering to general principles of law. This is crucial not only for the protection of the interests of the individuals involved but also necessary in order to safeguard the common interest in securing adherence to the law by government officials and thus upholding political and judicial accountability. These explanations might sound mundane to a community accustomed to the achievements of well-established national criminal justice systems based on coherent procedural rules and their efficient application.
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