International Criminal Law
International Criminal Law
International Criminal Law can be defined in many ways.
The Encyclopedia Britanica defines it as a "body of laws, norms, and rules governing international crimes and their repression, as well as rules addressing conflict and cooperation between national criminal-law systems. See also international law; conflict of laws.
Criminal law prohibits and punishes behaviour judged to be antisocial. Because each country’s laws are a reflection of its values, there are often large differences between the national laws of different countries, both with respect to the nature of the crimes themselves and the penalties considered appropriate. The term international criminal law refers variously to at least three distinct areas: cooperation between different national legal systems.
International Criminal Law is different from Criminal Law in that Criminal Law is not subject to the jurisdiction of international Criminal Law: Criminal Law is the subject of individual countries. Criminal law is part of public law and is not subject to the individual’s disposition (in the way that parties can choose the applicable law by contract in their private transactions), and its sphere of application is determined by public international law, which defines the reach of state sovereignty. Prosecution and court proceedings are almost never governed by foreign laws. The most important issue is therefore whether a state’s authorities may commence criminal proceedings in cases involving foreign persons or elements.
The American Society of International Law states: "in its widest context, the source of international criminal law might be derived from the general principles of international law recognized by civilized nations; and therefore, found in the customary law accepted by states, the general criminal law recognized by nations, and the treaties which govern particular conduct...International criminal law can also be categorized according to whether the conduct in question is international, constituting an offense against the world community, or whether the act is transnational, affecting the interests of more than one state. For example, international crime would encompass acts that threaten world order and security, crimes against humanity and fundamental human rights, war crimes, and genocide; whereas the transnational crime category would include drug trafficking, transborder organized criminal activity, counterfeiting, money laundering, financial crimes, terrorism, and willful damage to the environment."
Modern International Criminal Law finds its roots in the aftermath of the Second World War (1939-1945) during the Nuremberg Trials where the triumphant Allied Forces successfully tried Axis Force Combattants for heinious crimes committed during the war.
Examples of International Crimes
International Crimes consist of crimes against international law, humanity, and peace; war crimes; and international criminal law.
War Crimes are serious violations of the laws applicable in armed conflict (also known as international humanitarian law) giving rise to individual criminal responsibility. Examples of such conduct includes "murder, the ill-treatment or deportation of civilian residents of an occupied territory to slave labor camps", "the murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war", the killing of prisoners, "the wanton destruction of cities, towns and villages, and any devastation not justified by military, or civilian necessity". The Military Tribunal developed war crimes during the Nuremberg Trials.
Crimes Against Humanity
- ↑ "international criminal law." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, 2011. Web. 06 Jul. 2011. <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/721820/international-criminal-law>.
- ↑ "conflict of laws." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, 2011. Web. 06 Jul. 2011. <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/333023/conflict-of-laws>.
- ↑ Gary D. Solish (2010) The Law of Armed Conflict: International Humanitarian Law in War, Cambridge University Press ISBN 9780521870887 pp. 301-303