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Chapter

This chapter provides a general overview of the structure and workings of the different types of international criminal courts and tribunals. It first introduces the basic types of international criminal tribunal as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each. It then outlines the forms of jurisdiction; considers in more detail the ways in which the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC) may be engaged and the limitations which are inherent in its statute on when it may proceed with an investigation or trial; and examines the structure of the ICC as a representative international criminal tribunal, which is internally divided into judicial, prosecutorial, and administrative organs.

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This chapter examines the relationship between international and national law. It discusses the approach of international courts and tribunals; the approach of national parliaments and national courts; and some problems that arise in national courts. While prospects for a harmonized approach to the relationship between international and national law are dim, conflict can be avoided through the close involvement of international lawyers in the treaty-making and ratification process; attention at the time of ratification to implementation questions; the teaching of international law as part of the professional training of judges; and expert assistance to national courts when international law questions arise.

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The International Court of Justice (ICJ), which is defined in the UN Charter as the ‘principal judicial organ’ of the United Nations, is a standing mechanism for the peaceful settlement of disputes between States. It may also give advisory opinions on the law, at the request of the Security Council and General Assembly, or of other UN organs and specialized agencies that are so authorized by the General Assembly. No dispute can be the subject of a decision of the Court unless the States parties to it have consented to the Court’s jurisdiction over that specific dispute. This chapter discusses the history, structure, and composition of the Court, the ways in which jurisdiction is conferred upon it, its procedure, and the nature and effect of decisions (judgments and advisory opinions) of the ICJ.

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This chapter begins with a discussion of the ‘declaratory’ and ‘constitutive’ views of recognition. According to the declaratory view, the legal effects of recognition are limited: recognition is a declaration or acknowledgement of an existing state of law and fact, legal personality having been conferred previously by operation of law. The declaratory theory of recognition is opposed to the constitutive view, according to which the political act of recognition is a precondition of the existence of legal rights: in its extreme form this implies that the very personality of a state depends on the political decision of other states. Discussion then turns to the distinction between recognition of states and recognition of governments, collective non-recognition and sanctions, and issues of recognition before national courts.

Chapter

This chapter focuses on the crime of aggression. It first traces the historical development crime of aggression. It then addresses the question of who can be considered a perpetrator of the crime; outlines the manner in which the crime can be committed; examines the controversial question of how ‘aggression’ is to be defined for the purposes of the offence; and distinguishes between aggression and lawful uses of military force in international law. The remainder of the chapter discusses some controversial cases of the use of force and whether they might constitute aggression; outlines the mental element required; explains the applicable law before the International Criminal Court (ICC); and explores the possibility of prosecuting acts of aggression before national courts.

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This chapter examines the methods by which States prevent their national courts from deciding disputes that relate to the internal affairs of another State. It considers three main ‘avoidance techniques’: State immunity, act of State, and non-justiciability. It discusses the arguments for and against the current prohibition on the determination of one State’s disputes in the national courts of another State, and identifies the challenges presented by the rule of law, an individual’s right of access to court, and the implementation of jus cogens norms to the maintenance of these avoidance techniques. It concludes with the observation that the pendulum continues to swing between prioritizing sovereignty by protecting the activities of States from judicial scrutiny and calling for greater accountability and remedies for violations of international law.

Chapter

This chapter discusses the development of international criminal law and institutions, international criminal courts and tribunals, and international criminal justice in national courts. These developments respond to but also reflect repeated failures to prevent serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. The work of the International Criminal Court, specialized criminal tribunals and ‘hybrid’ tribunals is outlined.

Chapter

This chapter deals with international criminal procedure, focusing on the International Criminal Court (ICC). It first introduces international criminal procedure and the various parties involved in the process (judges, prosecutors, suspects or accused persons, and witnesses and victims). It then examines the pre-trial phase of proceedings, including criminal investigation, the decision to prosecute, and the role of the document specifying the charges (called an ‘indictment’ by some courts and national systems). Next, the chapter provides an overview of the trial phase and examines the role of guilty pleas, evidence (and its pre-trial disclosure), and the conduct of trial proceedings.

Chapter

State officials enjoy two types of immunity from the jurisdiction of foreign courts: functional immunity prevents a current or former State official being brought before the courts of a foreign State in respect of his or her official acts (also called immunity ratione materiae); personal immunity is held by certain high officials for the duration of their office and covers both their private and official acts (also called immunity ratione personae). The question then arises whether these immunities are available in the case of international crimes. This chapter first provides an overview of the law of state immunity in general international law. It then considers the immunities enjoyed by individual officials in criminal cases, with a particular emphasis on the law that applies before national courts. It also looks at the applicable law before the International Criminal Court (ICC), and the controversial question of which immunities (if any) are available to the officials of States that are not party to the ICC Statute.

Chapter

This chapter discusses the third party settlement of international disputes. It covers arbitration and the origins of international dispute settlement; the idea of judicial settlement of international disputes; the International Court of Justice, interstate arbitration, dispute settlement under UNCLOS, the WTO dispute settlement body, and international investment tribunals.

Chapter

This chapter considers preliminary issues, involving both jurisdiction and admissibility, before international courts and tribunals. It discusses prior negotiations, the requirement of a dispute, grounds of inadmissibility, diplomatic protection, and mixed claims.

Chapter

This chapter examines key structural questions and fundamental problems relating to the law of treaties. These structural matters include: the concept of a treaty; the anatomy of treaties (including the making of treaties; authority to conclude treaties; expression of consent to be bound; invalidity of treaties (non-absolute grounds for invalidity of treaties, absolute grounds for invalidity of treaties, amendment, and modification); suspension and termination). The key issues addressed include the scope of legal obligation (the principle pacta sunt servanda, treaties, and third States); interpretation and reservation to treaties (including interpretative declarations); and finally, problems concerning the grounds for termination (supervening impossibility and material breach). The chapter also considers the theory and practice of the law of treaties, with broad analysis of the case law of various international courts and tribunals, with special emphasis on jurisprudence of the International Court of Justice.

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This chapter discusses the sources of international law, as reflected in Article 38 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice, and covers international custom, treaties, general principles of law, and judicial decisions. It also describes other material sources: the conclusions of international conferences, resolutions of the UN General Assembly, the writings of publicists, and codification and the work of the International Law Commission, concluding with other considerations applicable in judicial reasoning.

Chapter

This chapter looks at the purposes and principles of international criminal law. International criminal law seeks to ensure that perpetrators of certain heinous acts are criminally liable for their acts, either before national or international criminal courts or tribunals. It is a fairly recent addition to international law and it was not until after the end of the Second World War that it became accepted that international law authorizes the criminal prosecution of individual perpetrators of serious offences. The chapter begins by discussing the most important sources of international criminal law. It then examines the prosecution of international crimes before international criminal courts, including the conditions for prosecuting suspected international criminals before the International Criminal Court. It also discusses the national prosecution of international crimes and the obligation found in a number of conventions to criminalize and prosecute certain conduct.

Chapter

This chapter looks at the purposes and principles of international criminal law. International criminal law seeks to ensure that perpetrators of certain heinous acts are criminally liable for their acts, either before national or international criminal courts or tribunals. It is a fairly recent addition to international law and it was not until after the end of the Second World War that it became accepted that international law authorizes the criminal prosecution of individual perpetrators of serious offences. The chapter begins by discussing the most important sources of international criminal law. It then examines the prosecution of international crimes before international criminal courts, including the conditions for prosecuting suspected international criminals before the International Criminal Court. It also discusses the national prosecution of international crimes and the obligation found in a number of conventions to criminalize and prosecute certain conduct.

Chapter

This chapter discusses the law of war crimes. It begins by introducing the basic principles of the law of armed conflict (LOAC): distinction and proportionality. It then distinguishes between international and non-international armed conflicts; outlines the contextual element and mental element required for war crimes; provides an overview of the prohibited acts that may form the conduct underlying a war crime; and examines select war crimes in more detail. The chapter concludes with a table comparing the range of offences applicable under the International Criminal Court (ICC) Statute to NIACs and IACs. It also provides a hypothetical scenario to which the law can be applied.

Chapter

Anthea Roberts and Sandesh Sivakumaran

The classic starting point for identifying the sources of international law is Article 38 of the ICJ Statute, which refers to three sources: treaties, customary international law, and general principles of law; as well as two subsidiary means for determining rules of law, namely judicial decisions and the teachings of publicists. However, Article 38 does not adequately reflect how the doctrine of sources operates in practice because it omits important sources of international law while misrepresenting the nature and weight of others. To appreciate how sources operate in practice, international lawyers need to understand how international law is created through a dialogue among States, State-empowered entities, and non-State actors. States are important actors in this process, but they are not the only actors. It is only by understanding this process of dialogue that one can develop a full understanding of the theory —and reality—of the sources of international law.

Chapter

A State’s administrative, judicial, executive and legislative activity is part of the exercise of its sovereignty, sometimes known as its jurisdictional sovereignty. This chapter examines the objects of a State’s jurisdictional sovereignty (both natural and legal persons) and the circumstances in which it may be exercised. It considers the general principles of jurisdiction; grounds for the assertion of jurisdiction by national courts; and state jurisdiction and persons apprehended in violation of international law.

Chapter

Jonathan Hill

This chapter deals with the recognition of enforcement of foreign judgments by English courts. The crucial question is not whether foreign judgments should be recognised and enforced in England but which judgments should be recognised and enforced. There are, broadly speaking, two theories. The first is the theory of obligation, which is premised on the notion that if the original court assumed jurisdiction on a proper basis the court's judgment should prima facie be regarded as creating an obligation between the parties to the foreign proceedings which the English court ought to recognise and, where appropriate, enforce. The alternative theory is based on the idea of reciprocity: the courts of country X should recognise and enforce the judgments of country Y if, mutatis mutandis, the courts of country Y recognise and enforce the judgments of country X. Whichever theory is adopted, the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments is limited by a range of defences which may be invoked by the party wishing to resist the judgment in question. It would be unrealistic to expect the English court to give effect to a foreign judgment which conflicts with fundamental notions of justice and fairness. So, the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments is a two-stage process: Are the basic conditions for recognition or enforcement satisfied? If so, is there a defence by reason of which the foreign judgment should nevertheless not be recognised or enforced? The remainder of the chapter discusses the recognition and enforcement at common law; statutory regimes based on the common law; recognition and enforcement under the Brussels I Recast; and United Kingdom judgments.

Chapter

Course-focused and comprehensive, the Textbook on series provide an accessible overview of the key areas on the law curriculum. International law deals with the legal relations between sovereign states while national law deals with the legal relations of individuals within a state. However, there are cases when two legal systems overlap, such as whether British courts can invoke the principles of international law to resolve civil or criminal matters. This chapter examines the relationship between international law and national law and the issues associated with their overlap. It considers how national law affects decisions before international courts and how international law affects decisions before national courts. The chapter first looks at three theories that explain the relationship of international law and national law, namely: monism, dualism, and subject matter. It then explores international law in the national law of the United Kingdom, with an emphasis on treaties and similar international instruments, together with executive certificates and ministerial discretion.