International Criminal Procedure

International Criminal Procedure

The Interface of Civil Law and Common Law Legal Systems

Edited by Linda Carter and Fausto Pocar

The emergence of international criminal courts, beginning with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and including the International Criminal Court, has also brought an evolving international criminal procedure. In this book, the authors examine selected issues that reflect a blending of, or choice between, civil law and common law models of procedure. The topics include background on civil law and common law legal systems; plea bargaining; witness proofing; written and oral evidence; self-representation and the use of assigned, standby, and amicus counsel; the role of victims; and the right to appeal.

Chapter 1: The challenge of shaping procedures in international criminal courts

Fausto Pocar and Linda Carter

Subjects: law - academic, comparative law, criminal law and justice, public international law, politics and public policy, terrorism and security


The progressive and unprecedented advancements in international criminal law since the 1990s have brought about the establishment of a number of criminal courts and tribunals with the participation of the international community, in order to prosecute international offenses, such as war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. These judicial bodies are clearly rooted in the precedent set by the Nuremberg and Tokyo Military Tribunals, which were established by the Allied Powers in the aftermath of World War II and were tasked to deal with the same core international crimes which constitute the basis of the current jurisdictions, but they present different features and cannot be regarded as a unity from the legal point of view. While the international military tribunals were established by occupying powers on the territory of occupied States, recent criminal jurisdictions have been promoted by the entire international community, as represented by the Security Council of the United Nations.

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