International Criminal Law
International criminal law deals with the criminal responsibility of individuals for international crimes. There is no generally accepted definition of international crimes. A distinction can be made between international crimes which are based on international customary law and therefore apply universally and crimes resulting from specific treaties which criminalize certain conduct and require the contracting states to implement legislation for the criminal prosecution of this conduct in their domestic legal system. The international core crimes, i.e., crimes over which international tribunals have been given jurisdiction under international law, are: genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and aggression. International criminal law finds its origin in both international law and criminal law and closely relates to other areas of international law. The most important areas are human rights law and international humanitarian law as well as the law on state responsibility. The sources of international criminal law are the same as those of general international law mentioned in article 38(1) of the Statute of the International Court of Justice: treaties, international customary law, general principles of law, judicial decisions and writings of eminent legal scholars. The Nuremberg and Tokyo trials signaled the birth of present-day international criminal law, i.e., the prosecution of individuals for international crimes before international tribunals. In the early nineties of the previous century international criminal law received a major stimulus with the establishment of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda by the United Nations Security Council. The creation of various internationalized or mixed criminal courts and the proposals of the International Law Commission, which resulted in the creation of the International Criminal Court in 2002, contributed to the rapid development of international criminal law during the last two decades.
This Guide is intended as a starting point for research in the field of International Criminal Law. It provides a selection of the legal materials available in the Peace Palace Library, both in print and electronic format. Manuals, leading articles, bibliographies, periodicals, serial publications and documents of interest are presented in the Bibliography section. There are also links to the PPL Catalogue inserted. The Library's systematic classification → International criminal law and the subject heading (keyword) International Criminal Law are instrumental for searching through the Catalogue. Special attention is given to our subscriptions on databases, e-journals, e-books and other electronic resources. Finally, the Research Guide features links to relevant websites and other online resources of particular interest.
- Ambos, K., Treatise on International Criminal Law (3 vols), Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2013-.
- Boas, G. (et al.), International Criminal Procedure, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2011.
- Brown, B.S. (ed.), Research Handbook on International Criminal Law (3rd ed.), Cheltenham, Elgar, 2011.
- Cassese, A. (et al.), Cassese's International Criminal Law (3rd ed.), Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2013.
- Cherif Bassiouni, M. (et al.) (eds.), Introduction to International Criminal Law (2nd rev. ed.), Leiden, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2012.
- Cryer, R., An Introduction to International Criminal Law and Procedure (3rd ed.), Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2014.
- Dixon, R., and K.A.A. Kahn, Archbold : International Criminal Courts Practice, Procedure and Evidence (4th ed.), London, Sweet & Maxwell, 2013.
- Knoops, G.-J., An Introduction to the Law of International Criminal Tribunals: A Comparative Study (2nd ed.), Leiden, Brill Nijhoff, 2014.
- Malekian, F., Jurisprudence of international Criminal Justice, Newcastle upon Tyne : Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014.
- O’Keefe, R., International Criminal Law, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2015.
- Safferling, C. (et al.) (eds.), International Criminal Procedure, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2012.
- Schabas, W.A., International Criminal Law (3 vols) Cheltenham, Elgar, 2012.
- Sluiter, G. (et al.) (eds.), International Criminal Procedure: Principles and Rules, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2013.
- Tochilovsky, V., The Law and Jurisprudence of the International Criminal Tribunals and Courts: Procedure and Human Rights Aspects (2nd ed.), Cambridge, Intersentia, 2014.
- Werle, G., and F. Jessberger, Principles of International Criminal Law (3rd ed.), Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2014.
- Taulbee, J.L., Genocide, Mass Atrocity, and War Crimes in Modern History: Blood and Conscience, Santa Barbara, California, 2017.
- Alamuddin, A., Jurdi, N. N. and Tolbert, D. (eds.), The Special Tribunal for Lebanon: Law and Practice, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2014.
- Appazov, A., Expert Evidence and International Criminal Justice, Cham, Springer, 2016.
- Bachmann, K., Sparrow-Botero, T. and Lambertz, P., When Justice Meets Politics: Independence and Autonomy of Ad Hoc International Criminal Tribunals, Frankfurt am Main, Peter Lang, 2013.
- Banks, C. L. and Baker, J., Comparative, International and Global Justice: Perspectives from Criminology and Criminal Justice, Los Angeles, Sage, 2016.
- Benedetti, F., Bonneau, K. and Washburn, J. L., Negotiating the International Criminal Court: New York to Rome, 1994-1998, Leiden, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2014.
- Bergsmo, M., Ling, C. W. and Ping, Y. (eds.), Historical Origins of International Criminal Law, Brussels, Torkel Opsahl Academic EPublisher, 2014, Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3 and Volume 4.
- Chamberlain Bolãnos, C., Children and the International Criminal Court: Analysis of the Rome Statute through a Children’s Rights Perspective, Cambridge, Intersentia, 2015.
- Ciorciari, J. D. and Heindel, A., Hybrid Justice: The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, Ann Arbor, The University of Michigan Press, 2014.
- Clark, J. N., International Trials and Reconciliation: Assessing the Impact of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, Abingdon, Routledge, 2014.
- Fichtelberg, A., Hybrid Tribunals: A Comparative Examination, New York, Springer, 2015.
- Fry, E. G., The Contours of International Prosecutions: As Defined by Facts, Charges, and Jurisdiction, The Hague, Eleven International Publishing, 2016.
- Grabert, A., Dynamic Interpretation in International Criminal Law: Striking a Balance between Stability and Change, München, Herbert Utz Verlag, 2015.
- Jain, N., Perpetrators and Accessories in International Criminal Law: Individual Modes of Responsibility for Collective Crimes, Oxford, Hart Publishing, 2014.
- Jalloh, C.C. (ed.), The Sierra Leone Special Court and Its Legacy: The Impact for Africa and International Criminal Law, New York, NY, Cambridge University Press, 2014.
- Kemp, G., Individual Criminal Liability for the International Crime of Aggression (2nd ed.), Cambridge, Intersentia, 2016.
- Klamberg, M., Evidence in International Criminal Trials: Confronting Legal Gaps and the Reconstruction of Disputed Events, Leiden, Nijhoff, 2013.
- Krabbe, M., Excusable Evil: An Analysis of Complete Defenses in International Criminal Law, Cambridge, Intersentia, 2014.
- McDermott, Y., Fairness in International Criminal Trials, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2016.
- Meierhenrich, J. (ed.), Genocide: A Reader, New York, Oxford University Press, 2014.
- Minow, M., The First Global Prosecutor: Promise and Constraints, Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press, 2015.
- Namakula. C. S., Language and the Right to Fair Hearing in International Criminal Trials, Cham, Springer, 2014.
- Novak, A., The International Criminal Court: An Introduction, Charm, Springer, 2015.
- Stahn, C. (ed.), The Law and Practice of the International Criminal Court, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2015.
- Steinberg, R. H. (ed.), Contemporary Issues Facing the International Criminal Court, Leiden, Brill Nijhoff, 2016.
- Tochilovsky, V., The Law and Jurisprudence of the International Criminal Tribunals and Courts: Procedure and Human Rights Aspects, Cambridge, Intersentia, 2013.
- Anckarsäter, H. (et al.), “Mental Health and International Crimes”, in I. Bantekas and E. Mylonaki (eds.), Criminological Approaches to International Criminal Law, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2014, pp. 263-286.
- Bernaz, N., “Corporate Criminal Liability under International Law: The New TV S.A.L. and Akhbar Beirut S.A.L. Cases at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon”, Journal of International Criminal Justice, 13 (2015), No. 2, pp. 313-330.
- Borda, A. Z., “How Do International Judges Approach Competing Precedent? An Analysis of the Practice of International Criminal Courts and Tribunals in Relation to Substantive Law”, International Criminal Law Review, 15 (2015), No. 1, pp. 124-146.
- Bufalini, A., “The Principle of Legality and the Role of Customary International Law in the Interpretation of the ICC Statute”, The Law and Practice of International Courts and Tribunals: A Practitioners’ Journal, 14 (2015), No. 2, pp. 233-254.
- Cimiotta, E., “The First Steps of the Extraordinary African Chambers: A New Mixed Criminal Tribunal”, Journal of International Criminal Justice, 13 (2015), No. 1, pp. 177-197.
- Clarke, K. M., “Refiguring the Perpetrator: Culpability, History and International Criminal Law’s Impunity Gap”, The International Journal of Human Rights, 19 (2015), No. 5, pp. 592-614.
- Combs, N. A., “Seeking Inconsistency: Advancing Pluralism in Criminal Sentencing”, Yale Journal of International Law, 41 (2016), No. 1, pp. 1-49.
- Davidson, C., “Explaining Inhumanity: The Use of Crime-Definition Experts at International Criminal Courts”, Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, 48 (2015), No. 2, pp. 359-425.
- Ford, S., “The Complexity of International Criminal Trials is Necessary”, The George Washington International Law Review, 48 (2015), No. 1, pp. 151-201.
- Freeman, L., “Digital Evidence and War Crimes Prosecutions: The Impact of Digital Technologies on International Criminal Investigations and Trials” Fordham International Law Journal, 41 (2018) No. 2, pp. 283-335.
- Gil Gil, A., “Current Trends in the Definition of "Perpetrator" by the International Criminal Court: From the Decision on the Confirmation of Charges in the Lubanga Case to the Katanga Judgment”, Leiden Journal of International Law, 28 (2015), No. 2, pp. 349-371.
- Goetz, M., “Reparative Justice at the International Criminal Court: Best Practice or Tokenism?”, in J.-A.M. Wemmers (ed.), Reparation for Victims of Crimes against Humanity: The Healing Role of Reparation, London, Routledge, 2014, pp. 53-70.
- Groome, D., “Evidence in Cases of Mass Criminality”, in I. Bantekas and E. Mylonaki (eds.), Criminological Approaches to International Criminal Law, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2014, pp. 117-158.
- Hale, K. and Cline, D., “Holding Collectives Accountable”, Criminal Law Forum, 25 (2014), No. 1-2, pp. 261-290.
- Hamilton, T., “Case Admissibility at the International Criminal Court”, The Law and Practice of International Courts and Tribunals: A Practitioners’ Journal, 14 (2015), No. 2, pp. 305-317.
- Jalloh, C.C., and A. Dibella, “Equality of Arms in International Criminal Law: Continuing Challenges”, in W.A. Schabas (et al.) (eds.), The Ashgate Research Companion to International Criminal Law, Farnham, Ashgate, 2013, pp. 251-287.
- Kelder, J. M., Holá, B. and Van Wijk, J., “Rehabilitation and Early Release of Perpetrators of International Crimes: A Case Study of the ICTY and ICTR”, International Criminal Law Review, 14 (2014), No. 6, pp. 1177-1203.
- Knoops, G. A., “Pursuing the ICC Crime of Aggression: Law or Politics?”, Justice, 56 (2015), pp. 26-33.
- Kyriakakis, J., “International Legal Personality, Collective Entities, and International Crimes”, in N. Gal-Or, C. Ryngaert and M. Noortmann (eds.), Responsibilities of the Non-State Actor in Armed Conflict and the Market Place: Theoretical Considerations and Empirical Findings, Leiden, Brill Nijhoff, 2015, pp. 79-104.
- Mohamad, R., “Access to International Justice: The Role of the International Criminal Court in Aiding National Prosecutions of International Crimes”, in P. Keyzer, V. Popovski and C. Sampford, Access to International Justice, London, Routledge, 2015, pp. 35-46.
- Nemane, V. V. and Gunjal, I. D., “Article 124 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court: “Transitional Provision” or “The Right to (Convenient) Opt-out”", International Criminal Law Review, 15 (2015), No. 5, pp. 949-969.
- Post, H., “Reflections on the Future of International Criminal Law”, in K. Wellens (ed.), International Law in Silver Perspective: Challenges Ahead, Leiden, Brill Nijhoff, 2015, pp. 57-95.
- Roberts, P., “The Priority of Procedure and the Neglect of Evidence and Proof: Facing Facts in International Criminal Law”, Journal of International Criminal Justice, 13 (2015), No. 3, pp. 479-506.
- Rosenberg, S. P., “Audacity of Hope: International Criminal Law, Mass Atrocity Crimes, and Prevention”, in S. P. Rosenberg, T. Galis, A. Zucker, Reconstructing Atrocity Prevention, New York, NY, Cambridge University Press, pp. 151-174.
- Soufi, J. and Maurice, S., “Structure, Functions and Initial Achievements of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals”, International Criminal Law Review, 15 (2015), No. 3, pp. 544-564.
- Werle, G. and Burghardt, B., “Establishing Degrees of Responsibility: Modes of Participation in Article 25 of the ICC Statute”, in E. Van Sliedregt and S. Vasiliev, Pluralism in International Criminal Law, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2014, pp. 301-319.
- Cassese, A., D. Scalia and V. Thalmann, Les grands arrêts de droit international pénal, Paris, Dalloz, 2010.
- Cassese, A. (et al.), International Criminal Law: Cases and Commentary, London, Oxford University Press, 2011.
- Boister, N., and R. Cryer (eds.), Documents on the Tokyo International Military Tribunal: Charter, Indictment and Judgments, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2008.
- De Hert, P. (et al.) (eds.), Code of International Criminal Law and Procedure, Bruxelles, Larcier, 2013.
- International Courts Association, International Courts and Tribunals Cases Series, The Hague, ICA Press, 2011-.
- Jalloh, C.C. (ed.), The Law Reports of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (2 vols), Leiden, Nijhoff, 2012.
- Kaye, D. (et al.), The Council and the Court: Improving Security Council Support of the International Criminal Court, Report, Irvine, CA, University of California, School of Law, May 2013. [PDF]
- Klip, A., and G. Sluiter/S. Freeland (eds.), Annotated Leading Cases of International Criminal Tribunals, Cambridge, Intersentia, 1999 - ... .
- Laucci, C., Digest of Jurisprudence of the Special Court for Sierra Leone 2003 – 2005, Leiden, Martinus Nijhoff, 2007.
- Liechtenstein Permanent Mission to the UN (et al.), Handbook Ratification and Implementation of the Kampala Amendments to the Rome Statute of the ICC: Crime of Aggression, War crimes, Princeton, NJ, Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination, 2012. [PDF]
- Malcolm, H. (ed.), The International Criminal Law Reports, London : Cameron May, 2000 - ... .
- Paust, J.J. (et al.), International Criminal Law: Cases and Materials (4th ed.), Durham, NC, Carolina Academic Press, (forthcoming May 2013).
- Pritchard, R.J. (ed.), The Tokyo Major War Crimes Trial: The Records of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (124 vols.), Lewiston, NY, Edwin Mellen Press, 1998-2005.
- Tams, C.J. (et al.), Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide: A Commentary, München/Oxford, C.H. Beck/Hart, 2014.
- Triffterer, O. (ed.), Commentary on the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court: Observers' Notes, Article by Article, München/Oxford, Beck/Hart, 2008.
- Wise, E.M., E.S. Podgor and R.S. Clark, International Criminal Law: Cases and Materials (3rd ed.), New Providence, NJ, LexisNexis, 2009.
Periodicals and Serial Publications
- African Journal of International Criminal Justice: Table of Contents
- Criminal Law Forum: Table of Contents
- Gender Report Card on the International Criminal Court: Gender Report Card 2014
- Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal: Table of Contents
- Genocide Studies International: Table of Contents
- Hague Justice Journal (Publication ceased in 2010)
- International Criminal Law Review: Table of Contents
- International Journal of Transitional Justice: Table of Contents
- Journal of International Criminal Justice: Table of Contents
- Journal of Genocide Research: Table of Contents
- Revue Internationale de Droit Pénal: Table of Contents
- War Crimes Prosecution Watch (newsletter): Issues
- WCRO Reports on Early Issues before the International Criminal Court
- Aspegren, L., International Criminal Law and the Genocide in Rwanda, Raoul Wallenberg Institute for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (RWI), Lund University, 2013. [PDF]
- Special Tribunal for Lebanon, Selected Bibliography on the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, Leidschendam, Special Tribunal for Lebanon, 2014.
- United Nations Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT), Special Bibliography on ICTR, Arusha, MICT Legal Library, 2014.
Systematic classification → International criminal law
Updated every Friday morning.
The Peace Palace Library has a collection of over a million publications. Each week, about six hundred new titles are added to our collection: books, articles, documents, online publications, etc. On this page, access is provided to this week’s new titles on International criminal law and criminal procedure. It covers a wide variety of topics which include, international crimes: genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and aggression; international criminal tribunals: Nuremberg and Tokyo International Military Tribunals, International Criminal Court, International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, Iraqi Special Tribunal, Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, Special Court for Sierra Leone, Special Tribunal for Lebanon. Other subjects in this section include, among others: child soldiers; women and sex crimes; individual criminal responsibility; Residual mechanism; Rome Statute; superior orders; victims; and universal jurisdiction.
1. Natural Persons, Legal Entities, and Corporate Criminal Liability under the Rome Statute
Keywords: Multinational enterprises, Corporate responsibility, Human rights, Infraction, Legal persons, Criminal liability, International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, International Criminal Court, Rome Statute (Rome, 17 July 1998),
2. The Mens Rea Standard for Corporate Aiding and Abetting Liability - Conclusions from International Criminal Law
Keywords: United States of America, Alien Tort Claims Act, Corporate responsibility, Mens rea, International criminal tribunals, International criminal law,
3. The ICC versus Libya: How to End the Cycle of Impunity for Atrocity Crimes by Protecting Due Process
Keywords: Libya, Atrocities, Prosecution, International Criminal Court, Administration of justice, International criminal procedure, International criminal law,
4. Judges at Nuremberg: Stetson's Connection to the War Crimes Trials
Bergsmo, M., Rackwitz, K. and Tianying, S. (eds.), Historical Origins of International Criminal Law, Brussels, Torkel Opsahl Academic EPublisher, 2017.View this title in our link resolver PlinkletEditors' Preface:"This book seeks to make two contributions. First, the development of national capacity to investigate and prosecute core international crimes–genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and aggression–will continue for several decades into the future. (...) The book has been organised in four autonomous parts:Part I contains 41 individual expert opinions on investigations, prosecutions and questions of management, staffing and operations;Part II has three reports produced by groups of experts;Part III concerns the draft Code of Conduct and Regulations of the Office of the Prosecutor;Part IV explains some aspects of its first budget.(...) The second contribution we seek to make with this book is to open up this interesting interregnum to analysis and research, based on sound facts chronicled by first-hand materials. As such, the book contributes towards the institutional history of the ICC Office of the Prosecutor at the time of its birth. It is for this reason that the book appears as Volume 5 of Historical Origins of International Criminal Law."
- Annotated Leading Cases of International Criminal Tribunals, Intersentia.
Commentary by renowned experts on full-text cases by International(ized) Criminal Tribunals
- Cambodia Genocide Program, MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies, Yale University
- Cambodia Tribunal Monitor
- CMN Knowledge Hub, Case Matrix Network
- Commentary on the Law of the International Criminal Court, Case Matrix Network
- Criminal Law and Procedure: Lecture Series, United Nations Audiovisual Library of International Law
- Electronic Information System for International Law: International Criminal Law, American Society of International Law
- Hein Online Foreign & International Law Resources Database, Hein Online
- ICTR Basic Documents and Case Law Database, International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
- International Courts & Tribunals Collection, World Legal Information Institute
- International Crimes Database, T.M.C. Asser Instituut
- International Criminal Court Legal Tools Database
- International Criminal Justice Programme, Southern Africa Litigation Centre
- International Criminal Law (Access through PPL Database), Oxford Reports on International Law
- The International Military Tribunal for Germany: Contents of The Nuremberg Trials Collection, Yale Law School: The Avalon Project
- The International Military Tribunal for the Far East: Judgment, HyperWar
- Law Reports of Trials of War Criminals (Selected and Prepared by the United Nations War Crimes Commission), Library of Congress: Military Legal Resources
- Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law, Max Planck Society
- MICT/ICTR/ICTY Case Law Database, United Nations Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals
- Multinational Report: Crimes Against Humanity Statutes and Criminal Code Provisions, Law Library of Congress: Legal Reports
- Nuremberg Trials, Library of Congress: Military Legal Resources
- Nuremberg Trials Project: A Digital Document Collection, Harvard Law School Library
- Oxford Reports: International criminal law, Oxford reports
- Saddam Hussein Trial, Library of Congress
- The Trial of Adolf Eichmann, Nizkor Project
- The Trial of Hissène Habré, Human Rights Watch
- UNICRI Training and E-Learning Portal, United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute
- United Nations War Crimes Commission Project: UNWCC Documents, Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy
- War Crimes Research Office, American University Washington College of Law
- Westlaw International, Westlaw
The ESMA Mega Trial: Crimes against Humanity during the Last Dictatorship in Argentina 1976-1983
This blog was written by Federico Gaitan Hairabedian, a litigant lawyer at the ESMA mega-trial, where more than 60 people were accused of crimes against humanity during the last Argentinian dictatorship of 1976-1983. ESMA (Escuela de Mecánica de la Armada), the Naval School of Mechanics, was one of the deadliest secret detention camps of the regime in a suburb of Buenos Aires. He was a litigant lawyer at the ESMA mega-trial, where more than 60 people were accused of crimes against humanity during the last Argentinian dictatorship of 1976-1983. ESMA (Escuela de Mecánica de la Armada), the Naval School of Mechanics, was one of the deadliest secret detention camps of the regime in a suburb of Buenos Aires.Read more
Mali War Crimes Suspect Mr. Al Hassan Makes Initial Appearance Before the ICC
After the Al Mahdi case, a landmark trial, a second case has been referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Timbuktu, Mali between 2012 and 2013. Another Malian national, 40-year-old Mr Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed Ag Mahmoud, faces charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. He has been accused of destroying holy places, mausoleums of Muslim saints in Timbuktu and of enforcing a policy of forced marriage which had led to sexual slavery and rape of women and girls. The alleged crimes were committed between 2012 and 2013 when Timbuktu was under the control of militant islamists. From April 2012 until January 2013, Mr Al Hassan was head of the Islamic Police.Read more
Perspectives on Mass Violence: Peace and Conflict Studies and Genocide Studies Compared
This week’s compelling guest blog compares the fields of Conflict Studies with Genocide Studies, its intriguing differences and similarities and the general lack of cross-pollination between them, even though they both deal with questions of collective violence and individual participation in violence. The author, Kjell Anderson, is a jurist and social scientist and works in both fields of Conflict Studies and Genocide studies.Read more
Former Nazi Officer's Plea for Mercy Rejected
The mercy plea of Oskar Gröning, a 96-year-old former Nazi officer, has been denied. On July 15, 2015, Mr Gröning, who is also called the ‘bookkeeper of Auschwitz’, was condemned of being “guilty of aiding and abetting murder in three hundred thousand legally concurrent cases”, referring to the 300,000 murders that took place in the Nazi death camp Auschwitz during the Second World War. During the trial of 2015, Oskar Gröning expressly admitted moral guilt, but not criminal guilt.Read more
ICTY Sentences Ratko Mladić to Life Imprisonment
Ratko Mladić, the former commander of the Bosnian Serb army and one-time fugitive from international justice, has been sentenced to life imprisonment after being convicted of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity by the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) at The Hague. The “Butcher of Bosnia” to his enemies and critics, Mladić was the most notorious of the ICTY’s 161 indictees, along with former Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadžić and late Serbian President Slobodan Milosević. The ICTY convicted Mladić of crimes it labelled as some of the “most heinous” in human history, in one of the highest profile war crimes cases since the post-World War Two Nuremberg trials of Germany’s Nazi leadership.Read more
Are Syria and Iraq the Middle Eastern Bloodlands?
Deir az-Zor is a sleepy town on the banks of the Euphrates in the Syrian desert, and did not ring much of a bell for most non-Syrians. Except for Armenians. During the 1915 Armenian Genocide, the Ottoman government deported hundreds of thousands of Ottoman Armenians to Deir az-Zor, where they were left to die or were killed outright. A German diplomat who was stationed in that area wrote that the Armenians were “slaughtered like sheep”. To the casual observer this looked allegorical or even hyperbolical, in any case unreal, removed far away in geography, time, and culture. Until recent times, when ISIS videos surfaced online. And again the desert soil of Deir az-Zor shone red with blood, and once more the word ‘Deir az-Zor’ served as a symbol of bloodshed.Read more
Using the G-Word?
Using the term genocide to describe a set of crimes potentially entails moral, political and legal consequences for States, with the ultimate fear of being dragged in a military ordeal. It is therefore the cause of many heavily disputed matters. Consequently, there is a high threshold for governments and parliaments to occasion a genocide determination, euphemistically known as the G-word. When in 1994 the depth of massacres in Rwanda emerged ‘’U.S. officials were afraid that the use of the stinging term would cause demands for intervention that the administration did not intend to meet’’.Read more
Africa and withdrawal from the ICC
Currently, 124 countries have ratified the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. But the USA, China and the Russian Federation for example have not. 139 States have signed the Rome Statute. Of those states, 34 are African states (comprising 30 percent of the court’s membership), 28 States are Latin American and Caribbean States, 19 are Asia-Pacific States, 18 are Eastern European states and 25 are from Western Europe and other States. In the past few days three African countries have announced that they intend to withdraw from the ICC. On October 18, 2016, Pierre Nkurunziza, the President of Burundi signed legislation on withdrawal from the ICC.Read more
New (E-)book: Historical War Crimes Trials in Asia
Torkel Opsahl Academic EPublisher (TOAEP) in Brussels has published a new (e-)book : Historical War Crimes Trials in Asia edited by Daqun Liu and Binxin Zhang. The TOAEP furthers the objective of excellence in research, scholarship and education by publishing worldwide through the Internet. The publisher has four publications series: the Publication Series, the Policy Brief Series, the Occasional Paper Series and the Law of the Future Series. The Peace Palace Library wishes to thank the Torkel Opsahl Academic EPublisher for donating all books on print.Read more
War Crimes Investigations in the UK: All is Fair in Law and War?
While the last British troops left Iraq in 2011, national and international investigations into the UK military’s conduct in Iraq are still ongoing and continue to spark controversy. Civil lawsuits as well as criminal prosecutions could still be on the horizon for some British soldiers. Gerry Simpson described this continuous quest for justice and the backlash against its results as the human dilemma of “wanting justice and being ‘sick of giving it’”. This blog will examine the British involvement in Iraq and the alleged war crimes committed during their mission, and the efforts and initiatives undertaken to discover the truth and to seek justice.Read more
From The Hague to Nuremberg: Our Visit to Nuremberg
From Sunday 8 November 2015 to Tuesday 10 November 2015, Sophie Brinkel, Candice Alihusain and Fé de Jonge, visited the city of Nuremberg in Germany. This city is internationally known for the war crimes trials that took place in Nuremberg after the Second World War, from 1945 to 1949. These trials encompassed both the International Military Tribunal, which was created by the Allied forces, and the subsequent Nuremberg Trials, organized by the USA authorities.Read more
An Ad Hoc Hybrid Special Court for Sri Lanka: What Does It Take?
On 16 September 2015, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka issued two reports on promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka. Their recommendation: the creation of an ad hoc hybrid special court to try war crimes and crimes against humanity. Which crimes were committed and how did the international community reach such a recommendation? This post will take a look at the civil war which plagued Sri Lanka for 25 years, the subsequent international response and finally, what does it take to create an ad hoc hybrid tribunal?Read more
AAIL-AFIL Distinguished Lecture Series
The African Association of International Law and the African Foundation for International Law are organizing the second lecture in the AAIL-AFIL Lecture Series in association with the Hague Academy of International Law. The lecture will take place on 19 June 2015 at 6.00 p. m. in the Historical Reading Room at the Peace Palace. The lecture will be followed by a reception. Earlier this month, on June 3, Justice Hassan B. Jallow addressed the United Nations Security Council and presented a progress report on the work of the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.Read more
International Corporate Criminal Liability at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon: Prosecutor v. Karma Al Khayat and Al Jadeed
On Thursday the 16th of April, the trial against journalist Karma Al Khayat and television network Al Jadeed started at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) in Leidschendam, the Netherlands. Both Ms. Karma Al Khayat and Al Jadeed are charged with contempt of court and obstruction of justice. Because the alleged crimes are media-related and the accused have argued that the trial threatens the freedom of press, the case has already attracted much attention. However, what is more striking is the fact that this is the first time a legal person is prosecuted by an international or internationalized criminal court.Read more
A Supreme Offence against International Morality and the Sanctity of Treaties: William II of Hohenzollern and the Treaty of Versailles
Early during World War I, jurists and statesmen in both France and Great-Britain, such as Larnaude and Lapradelle, had advocated the German Emperor William II to be arrested and brought to trial. The principle that military officers should be held personally responsible for orders in violation of the laws and customs of war, if pushed to its logical limits, would render commanders-in-chief, that is heads of State, liable for illegal acts for which they are responsible, directly or indirectly. And in Germany, there was one commander-in-chief: the Emperor William II.Read more
Achievements of the ICTY
Twenty years ago the United Nations Security Council unanimously adapted Resolution 827. With this resolution the international community envisaged to put to trial those individuals that were alleged to be responsible for grave crimes against humanity, infractions of international humanitarian law and the law of war which have been committed during the Yugoslav wars (1991-1999). The United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), was the first ad hoc criminal tribunal that came into existence since the erection of the Nuremberg and Tokyo Tribunals after World War II.Read more
Homeland, Zero Dark Thirty and Jack Bauer: Rendition, Torture and the Demise of American Values
The latest in a series of Hollywood productions which reopened a debate about torture and extraordinary rendition is Zero Dark Thirty. Real life variations of Hollywood-scenarios have been unfolding as the US government has engaged in a program of extraordinary rendition since the Clinton Administration and which became widespread under the Bush Administration following the September 11 terrorist attacks.This blog examines Obama’s policy towards torture and (extraordinary) rendition.Read more
Crimes against Cultural Property in Mali
In an earlier Peace Palace Library blog (Cultucide in Timbuktu: Shari’a and war crimes) Ingrid Kost wrote that the Islamist Group Ansar (Ed)dine (“Defenders of the Faith”) destroyed some of the age-old mausolea of Sufi Saints in Timbuktu, Mali. One of the major causes of destruction of cultural property (the illicit trading, stealing and looting of cultural property is not covered in this blog) over the ages has been armed conflict. Crimes against cultural property should therefore be addressed properly.Read more
The International Criminal Prosecution Of Gender Crimes
When we first think about wars and armed conflicts, we very often think about battlefields, burned villages, wounded soldiers, air-bombs and tanks. We tend to forget that civilians, women and children in particular, are at the centre of warfare and frequently fall victim to sexual violence in staggering numbers. The international community and the UN Security Council have established that gender crimes are part of the most serious of international crimes and should therefore be of great concern to the international community as a whole. In spite of this, international crimes involving sexual violence continue to be one of the most difficult crimes to prosecute.
This blog will briefly discuss the international criminal prosecution of gender crimes by various international legal institutions.Read more
The ICC's 10th Anniversary
Ten years ago, on 1 July 2002 the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) entered into force. At the moment there are 121 States Parties to the Rome Statute. The ICC is the first permanent international court for the prosecution of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
What has been achieved by the Court since 2002?Read more
Cultucide in Timbuktu: Shari’a and War Crimes
Last weekend the Islamist Group Ansar Eddine (“Defenders of the Faith”) destroyed some of the age-old mausolea of Sufi Saints in Timbuktu. Despite the fact that recently on June 28 2012, these mausolea were placed on the UNESCO List of World Heritage in Danger.Read more
The African Union and the International Criminal Court
The handling of the ICC arrest warrant against the Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir continues to create major problems for the African Union. The planned attendance by Al-Bashir of the 19th AU Summit in Malawi coming July and the threat of the Malawi government to arrest him if he did attend has forced the African Union to move the summit to its headquarters in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa.Read more
Judgment in the Trial of Former Liberian President Charles Taylor
On Thursday 26 April, Trial Chamber II of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) delivered its verdict in the case against Charles Taylor, former president of Liberia. Taylor was found criminally responsible of aiding and abetting rebel forces in the commission of 11 counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity and other serious violations of international humanitarian law in neighboring Sierra Leone during its civil war.Read more
The International Criminal Court Delivers Judgment on Child Soldiers
On Wednesday 14 March, Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC) delivered it’s first verdict. In a unanimous decision three judges convicted Thomas Lubanga Dyilo of the war crimes of conscripting, enlisting, and using children under the age of 15 to participate actively in hostilities. With this judgment the ICC firmly establishes the use of children in armed conflict as an international crime and also focuses renewed attention on the many thousands of children still used in various other conflicts in the world.Read more
Eichmann Trial 50 years
Lecture in the Peace Palace Library on the Eichmann trial, that took place 50 yeras ago.Read more
Ratko Mladić's arrest and the ICTY
It was all over the news that Ratko Mladić, one of two remaining the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) fugitives, was arrested on Thursday 26th of May in the village of Lazarevo, northern Serbia. After 16 years on the run, the arrest of this Colonel General, former Commander of the Main Staff […]Read more
Libya and the International Criminal Court (ICC)
On February 16th 2011- following a wave of uprisings throughout the Middle-East- Libya experienced a so-called Day of Rage which led to protests breaking out to challenge Colonel Muammar Qadhafi’s 41 year old iron rule- the region’s longest. This blog will briefly discuss the actions taken by the United Nations Security Council and the ICC in response to the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Libya.Read more
Dresden 1945: An Allied War Crime?
Since 1945, the bombing of Dresden is considered by many as a violation of international law and as a crime against humanity, even though positive rules of international humanitarian law were absent at the time. The Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907, were among the first formal statements of the laws of war and war crimes in the nascent body of international law. However these conventions, adressing the codes of wartime conduct on land and at sea, were adopted before the rise of air power. Despite repeated diplomatic attempts (→ The Hague Rules of Air Warefare 1922/1923) to update international humanitarian law to include aerial warfare, it was not done before the outbreak of World War II. The absence of positive international humanitarian law does not mean that the laws of war did not cover aerial warfare, but there was no general agreement of how to interpret those laws. The aerial bombardment of Dresden does not only raise the question as to whether or not it was an Allied war crime, but it also makes a moral appeal to prevent total war against civilian populations. It’s memory is kept alive.Read more
Arabian leaders try to tackle tension in Lebanon
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and Syrian President Bashar Assad visited Beirut on Friday 30th July in a show of unity before the Special Tribunal for Lebanon’s indictments in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Lebanon’s president, prime minister and parliamentary speaker stood side by side to receive the heads of state as they descended from a Saudi jet onto a red carpet at Rafik Hariri International Airport. The visit appeared to be an attempt to quell anxiety in Lebanon that followed a speech last week by Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the militant group Hezbollah, in which he denied links between his party and Hariri’s death.Read more
The First Review Conference of the ICC Statute & the Crime of Aggression Part II
After two weeks of intense debates and years of preparatory work by the Special Working Group on the Crime of Aggression, the Review Conference of the Rome Statute adopted by consensus amendments to the Rome Statute which includes a definition of the Crime of Aggression and determined how the Court will exercise its jurisdiction over the crime.Read more
Suspension of Spain’s Investigating Judge Garzón
On Friday, 14 May 2010, Spain’s General Council of the Judiciary in an emergency session decided to suspend National Court investigating judge Baltasar Garzón pending his trial for knowingly exceeding his jurisdiction by initiating an investigation into the crimes committed during the country’s civil war and the Franco regime, despite an existing amnesty law.Read more
The First Review of the ICC Statute and the Crime of Aggression
From May 31st until June 11th 2010, state parties to the International Criminal Court (ICC) will meet in Kampala, Uganda for the first Review Conference of the Rome Statute. One of the most important issues on the agenda is the legal definition of the crime of aggression. This blog will discuss some of the legal complexities in finding an international consensus on the definition of this crime.Read more
New Institute for Counter-terrorism in the Hague
Three Hague-based organizations, T.M.C. Asser Institute, the Centre for Terrorism and Counterterrorism of the University of Leiden/Campus Den Haag and the Dutch Institute for International Relations ‘Clingendael’, announced to join forces to set up an independent institute that will contribute to the study and policy-making in the field of counter-terrorism. The institute is financed by […]Read more
ICTY Judgement in Florence Hartmann Case
On Monday, 14 September, the Specially Appointed Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) convicted French journalist Florence Hartmann for contempt of the Tribunal (Case No. IT-02-54-R77.5, full Judgement [PDF], Judgement Summary [PDF]).Read more
ICC Issues Arrest Warrant for al-Bashir
On Wednesday, 4 March, the Pre-Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced its decision to issue a warrant for the arrest of the Sudanese President, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, for crimes against humanity and war crimes (Read here Decision [PDF], Summary of the Decision [PDF], Arrest Warrant [PDF], and Press Release).Read more
Al-Bashir Arrest Warrant!
On Thursday, 12 February, the International Criminal Court (ICC) informed the media that no decision had yet been taken by the Pre-Trial Chamber on last year’s application of Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo for an arrest warrant against the Sudanese President, Omar Hassan al-Bashir. The statement came in reaction to an article in the New York Times on Wednesday that the ICC had actually decided to issue the arrest warrant for al –Bashir.Read more
Impressions of the 60 years Genocide Convention
Impressions of the 60 years Genocide Convention On Sunday 7 and Monday 8 December, The Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies in Amsterdam, the Amsterdam Center for International Law and the Peace Palace Library organized a conference in The Hague to mark the 60th anniversary of the Genocide Convention. At the conference several legal and […]Read more
Genocide Convention at Sixty!
The Genocide Convention at Sixty!Read more
In 1948 the UN General Assembly unanimously adopted the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide .
To commemorate this fact: 1) A special issue of Case Western Reserve Journal of International law (Vol. 40, 2008, No. 1-2) and 2) two-day conference in The Hague in the Peace Palace
Remembrance Slave Trade and its Abolition
Saturday 23 August marks the UN nineth annual International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition.Read more
Rwandan Genocide Report.
A report published by President Paul Kagame’s government accuses France of complicity in Rwanda’s 1994 genocide, by supporting and training Hutu leaders and their militia carrying out the massacres that killed 800.000 people.Read more
Peace and Justice!
On Thursday, 31 July, the United Nations Security Council adopted resolution 1828 (2008) renewing the mandate of UNAMID, the UN-African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur, for another year (resolution [PDF] and meeting record S/PV.5947 [PDF]).Read more
Judgement of ICTY Trial Chamber in Contempt of Court Case
On Thursday, 24 June, the Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) convicted Kosovar journalist Baton Haxhiu for contempt of the Tribunal (Case No. IT-04-84-R77.5, judgement [PDF]).Read more
Karadžić located and arrested
During the night of the 21st of July Radovan Karadžić was located and arrested by Serbian security officers.
Radovan Karadžić is charged with genocide for the murder of close to 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica in 1995. The indictment alleges that Radovan Karadžić also committed genocide, persecutions and other crimes when forces under his command killed non-Serbs during and after attacks on towns throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The arrest of Radovan Karadžić was welcomed as a “milestone” by war crimes prosecutors of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia [ICTY]in The Hague.Read more
Judgement of the ICTY Appeals Chamber in the 'Dubrovnik' Case
On Thursday, 17 July, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) rendered its judgement [PDF document] on the appeals of both the Prosecution and the Defense against the conviction and sentence of the former Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA) General Pavle Strugar (Case No. IT-01-42-A).Read more
ICC Prosecutor Presents Second Case on Crimes in Darfur
On Monday, 14 July, Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo of the International Criminal Court (ICC) filed an application for an arrest warrant and submitted to the Judges of the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber evidence of crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Darfur by the Sudanese President, Omar Hassan al-Bashir (Read here the Application for warrant of arrest [PDF]).Read more
Tenth Anniversary Celebration of the Statute of Rome
On 3 July 2008, the 10th anniversary of the Rome Statute [PDF]of the International Criminal Court was celebrated here, at Peace Palace in The Hague, in the presence of Her Royal Highness Princess Máxima of the Netherlands. The event started with speeches of Mr. Maxime Verhagen, Minister of Foreign Affairs of The Netherlands, Ms. Rama […]Read more
International Courts and Organisations
- International Criminal Court (ICC)
- International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY)
- International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR)
- Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL)
- Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL)
- Extraordinary Cambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC)
- Extraordinary African Chambers within the Courts of Senegal
- War Crimes Chamber (WCC), Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Special Panels for Serious Crimes (SPSC) in East Timor
- Supreme Iraqi Criminal Court (Iraqi High Tribunal)
- United Nations Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals
- United Nations War Crimes Commission (UNWCC)
- Coalition for the International Criminal Court
- United Against Genocide
- International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ)
- Open Society Justice Initiative
- Women's Initiatives for Gender Justice
- Aggression, Oxford Bibliographies (Last updated: March 23, 2012)
- Courts and Tribunals, Dag Hammarskjöld Library Research Guides (Last updated: December 18, 2015)
- Crimes Against Humanity, Florida State University (Last updated: December 11, 2015)
- Genocide, Case Western Reserve University (Last updated: July 16, 2010)
- Genocide Studies, University of Toronto (Last updated: December 8, 2015)
- International Courts, Tribunals and Truth & Reconciliation Commissions, Toronto Reference Library Blog (Last updated: February 21, 2013)
- International Criminal Courts for the Former Yugoslavia, Rwanda and Sierra Leone: A Guide to Online and Print Resources, Hauser Global Law School Program (Last updated: July/August, 2014)
- International Criminal Court - Article 98 Agreements, Georgetown University Law Library (Last updated: December 8, 2015)
- International Criminal Justice, Lloyd Sealy Library (Last updated: December 8, 2015)
- International Criminal Law, Columbia University Law School (Last updated: December 5, 2012)
- International Criminal Law, Florida International University (Last updated: December 15, 2015)
- International Criminal Law, Global Library (Last updated: May 26, 2014)
- International Criminal Law (Access through PPL Database), Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law
- International Criminal Law, New England School of Law Library (Last updated: May 11, 2015)
- International Criminal Law, Pace Law Library (Last updated: December 8, 2015)
- International Criminal Law, American Society of International Law (Last updated: April 1, 2015)
- Post-World War II Allied Trials for Axis War Crimes, University of Iowa College of Law (Last updated: December 13, 2013)
- UN Criminal Tribunals, Hauser Global Law School Program (Last updated: May/June, 2014)
- War Crimes, Georgetown University Law Library (Last updated: December 8, 2015)
- War Crimes, Case Western Reserve University (Last updated: 2013)
Research and Academia
- Center for Advanced Genocide Research, University of South California
- Center for International Criminal Justice, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
- Crimes Against Humanity Initiative, Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute
- Crimes of War Education Project
- Forum for International Criminal and Humanitarian Law
- Gender Jurisprudence and International Criminal Law Project, Washington College of Law
- Genocide Studies Program, Yale University
- Genocide Watch
- The Hague Justice Portal
- International Criminal Law Forum
- International Institute for Genocide & Human Rights Studies
- International Network of Genocide Scholars
- Institute for Research of Crimes Against Humanity and International Law, Sarajevo University
- Justice Hub
- Institute for the Study of Genocide
- Publication Series and Occasional Paper Series on International Criminal Law, Torkel Opsahl Academic EPublisher
- War Crimes Research Group, King's College London
- War Crimes Research Office, Washington College of Law
- War Crimes Trials & Investigations interdisciplinary Research Network, Oxford University TORCH
- War Crimes Studies Center, U. C. Berkeley
More Research guides on International Criminal Law
- Crimes against humanity
- International crimes
- International Criminal Court
- International criminal justice
- International criminal law
- International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
- International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
- Special Court for Sierra Leone
- Special Tribunal for Lebanon
- War crimes