The Interface of Civil Law and Common Law Legal Systems
Edited by Linda Carter and Fausto Pocar
Chapter 7: Right to appeal
The appellate proceedings before international courts and tribunals are a mixture of civil law and common law approaches. This blending of traditions has not always led to an overall satisfactory compromise consistent with the highest standard of a fair trial. In the spirit of a civil law approach, appellate proceedings are broadly conceived and attribute a right to appeal against convictions and sentence to both the defendant and the prosecutor. However, the appellate proceedings under discussion tend more towards a common law approach in not allowing for a trial de novo and limiting the admission of additional evidence on appeal. Given this combination, the appeal judges of international criminal courts and tribunals have faced two major issues that have been problematical in the development of the procedures in the courts. This chapter will examine them in turn. The first question concerns how to respect the fundamental right to an appeal in the case of an appeal by the prosecutor against an acquittal.
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