Access to International Justice: The Role of the International Criminal Court in Aiding National Prosecutions of International Crimes
1 (2) AALCO Journal of International Law (2012) 1
15 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2014
Date Written: January 1, 2012
The establishment of the International Criminal Court represents a major milestone in the international community’s fight against impunity at the international level. International prosecution by the ICC represents a direct contribution to the fight against impunity for international crimes under the Rome Statute regime. However, international justice mechanisms, whether permanent or ad hoc, are not intended to supplant States where they have organized criminal justice systems which are willing and able to ensure that there is accountability for the crimes concerned. Indeed pursuant to the principle of complementarity, the Rome Statute provides ample room not only for the exercise of national jurisdiction, but also for the development of international criminal law at the national level. While encouraging the use of and explaining the avenues available under the Rome Statute to its State Parties to undertake domestic prosecutions, this article argues that national prosecutions should remain the primary option, wherever feasible, because they can handle many more cases and are usually preferable from the perspectives of victims and local justice systems.
Keywords: International Criminal Law, International Justice, National Prosecutions
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