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Posted on April 13th, 2014, by

The international criminal court and international humanitarian law comprise an important part of the contemporary international criminal justice system. The process of globalization and the development of close international relations contribute to the elaboration of international humanitarian standards that lay the foundation to international policies in regard to violators of existing legal norms and traditional humanitarian values. In such a context, the international criminal court and international humanitarian law serve to restore justice in the world. The international community takes responsibility over the observation and respect to basic human rights worldwide. Today, the world community cannot stay ignorant and indifferent to the violation of human rights that lead to war crimes, genocide, tortures and crimes against humanity. In fact, these crimes open the way to such regime as the Nazi regime in Germany, or authoritarian regimes in the former Yugoslavia which conducted the policy of genocide and committed war crimes and crimes against humanity, while tortures comprised an integral part of those regimes and allowed the regimes to maintain their power. In such a context, the international criminal court and international humanitarian law aim at the prevention of war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and tortures in any forms because the prevention of such crimes will lead to the prevention of the spread of authoritarian regimes that oppress liberties and basic human rights and conduct anti-humanistic policies. Even though the international criminal court and international humanitarian law have started to operate effectively since the 1990s, they have already proved their high effectiveness since they prosecuted leaders, policy makers and senior executors, who would remain unpunished and unprosecuted at the national level and such policy contributed to the restoration of justice along with the preventive effect to discourage other leaders to conduct anti-humanistic policies and commit war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide or tortures. Therefore, today, all individuals are accountable for crimes that may be prosecuted by the international criminal court and international humanitarian law.

International criminal court and international humanitarian law aim at the protection of human rights worldwide and prosecution of individuals violating international and national laws and commit crimes, which are defined as humanitarian crimes. To put it more precisely, the international criminal court and international humanitarian law focus on four types of crimes, including war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and torture. All these crimes are extremely dangerous and often they remain unpunished at the national level because national justice systems cannot prosecute leaders of countries, for instance, especially if they have a dictatorial position in their countries and have the total control over all branches of power. In such a situation, the assistance of the international community within the framework of the international criminal court and international humanitarian law is essential. Moreover, the contemporary international criminal court and international humanitarian law make all individuals accountable for their actions. Therefore, even the leader of a superpower, such as the US, cannot feel secure of he/she commits crimes against humanity, war crimes, conducts the policy of genocide or admits using tortures. Even though the contemporary international criminal court and international humanitarian law are still imperfect they lay the foundation to the system of international prosecution of top policy makers, who used to feel being untouchable in the past. Therefore, top policy makers and leaders of countries will feel their responsibility in face of the international criminal court and international humanitarian law.

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