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Posted on April 13th, 2014, by

At the national level, the accountability of individuals to the international criminal court and international humanitarian law is still possible but only on the condition that national authorities recognize the international criminal court and international humanitarian law and observe international legal norms. As a rule, the prosecution at the national level occurs when individuals accountable to the international criminal court and international humanitarian law hold the position that allows the objective and independent trial at the national level. For instance, some criminals may commit war crimes but had relatively low rank to influence the justice system at the national level. In such a situation, the national prosecution is possible and offenders, who have committed crimes, such as war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide or torture may undergo the prosecution at the national level. As a rule, the interference of the international criminal court is not required in such minor cases. However, it is worth mentioning the fact that often such trials and prosecutions at the national level becomes possible after the downfall of the regime that admitted war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide or tortures. Under the cover of such undemocratic regimes, individual may commit such crimes being confident of their ability to avoid prosecution from the national criminal justice system. However, they should stay aware of their accountability to the international criminal court and international humanitarian law, which is not limited in time and location. Therefore, as soon as they become available to the international justice or, when the repressive regime falls, they may face a prosecution even at the national level and the international community will support the national criminal justice system in the prosecution and trial of any case of crimes that are under the jurisdiction of the international criminal court and international humanitarian law.

Another accountability method includes the international and national criminal investigatory commissions. International and national criminal investigatory commissions include internationally established commissions or designated individuals, assigned to collect evidence of criminality, in addition to other fact finding information of a more general nature (Schabas, 2006). International and national criminal investigatory commissions lay the foundation to the further national and international prosecutions. The collection of evidence is crucial for the prosecution of offenders, who commit crimes under the jurisdiction of the international criminal court and international humanitarian law. In the war time, for instance, there is a high risk of hiding evidence or elimination of evidence. As a result, investigators may face difficulties with investigating cases of war crimes or crimes against humanity, for instance, and other crimes committed during the war time and accountable to the international criminal court and international humanitarian law. Individuals should be aware of their accountability for their crimes and the major goal of the international or national investigatory commission is to find out the truth about events that took place in the particular time and place and individuals responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide or tortures, who are accountable to the international criminal court and international humanitarian law. The international and national investigatory commission should collect all the evidence related to the case and to present the evidence to the international criminal court or the national criminal court that tries the case. Therefore, the international and national investigatory commission performs a very important function of collecting evidence, while the collected evidence can help to conduct the trial successfully, whereas the lack of evidence may lead to the failure of the trial.

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