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 4: Written and oral evidence

Guido Acquaviva

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


This chapter mainly focuses on the system of rules regulating the admission of evidence into the trial record in international criminal proceedings. Particular reference will be made to the practices of the main international criminal courts and tribunals – the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL), the International Criminal Court (ICC) – as well as certain unique facets of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL). As mentioned in the Introductory chapter of this volume, legal systems based on the common law tradition (adversarial systems) developed strict sets of exclusionary rules for the admission of evidence, for instance limiting the admission of written statements and hearsay in criminal proceedings. These rules were premised, inter alia, on the assumption that, in the courtroom, juries should generally be exposed only to first-hand knowledge of the events in question.

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