The Role of the Prosecutor of an International Criminal Court from a Comparative Perspective
The Review (International Commission of Jurists) no. 58-59 (December 1997), 45-56
7 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2016
Date Written: 1997
The following paper is based on the answers given to 13 questions in the national reports of Argentina, England and Wales, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Nigeria, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Scotland, Spain, Togo and the USA, as well as on the report 0111 Sharia, prepared for the international workshop "Toward a procedural regime for the International Criminal Court" (London, 6-7 June 1997). The paper deals with the role of the prosecutor at the pre-trial stage in the different national systems, summarising, on the one hand, the answers of the reports given to the three f1rst questions and including, on the other hand, further research on comparative criminal procedure and the invaluable knowledge of some colleagues at the MaxPlanck-Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law.
I have done my best to interpret the country reports correctly and to avoid superficial generalisations. However, given the spatial constraints, the comments made must remain rather "impressionistic" and focus on the major procedural systems. In my vie~, these are the English and US systems on the one hand, and the French and German on the other. The English adversarial common law model was imposed on the former colonies worldwide, the USA· being its first and most enthusiastic inheritor. The French 1808 Code d'instruction criminelle was not only imposed by the Napoleonic empire but also voluntarily accepted by former authoritarian regimes which wanted to liberalise their criminal justice, e.g. the newly unified German Empire (1877).
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