Balancing the Prosecution of Crimes Against Humanity and Non-Retroactivity of Criminal Law: The Kolk and Kislyiy V. Estonia Case Before the ECHR

Posted: 29 Feb 2008

Date Written: May 2006

Abstract

In January 2006, the European Court of Human Rights held that the punishment of two individuals in 2003 in Estonia for the deportation of civilians to the Soviet Union in 1949 classified as a crime against humanity, was not contrary to the principle of non-retroactivity of criminal law. According to the Court, in 1949 crimes against humanity were already proscribed and criminalized, and responsibility for such crimes could not `be limited only to the nationals of certain countries and solely to acts committed within the specific time frame of the Second World War`. While the Court`s ruling is correct, its legal reasoning lends itself to a number of serious criticisms.

Suggested Citation

Cassese, Antonio, Balancing the Prosecution of Crimes Against Humanity and Non-Retroactivity of Criminal Law: The Kolk and Kislyiy V. Estonia Case Before the ECHR (May 2006). Journal of International Criminal Justice, Vol. 4, Issue 2, pp. 410-418, 2006, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=915793

Antonio Cassese (Contact Author)

University of Florence ( email )

Piazza di San Marco, 4
Florence, 50121
Italy

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