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Posted on April 13th, 2014, by

The Geneva Convention rulings and the international humanitarian law and international criminal court have been implemented successfully since the end of the Cold War. In terms of the international criminal court and international humanitarian law two ad hoc international tribunals were created for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. The end of the Cold War marked the end of the confrontation between two superpowers. In such a situation, the democracy could advance worldwide, while legal norms and rules of democratic countries have started to be implemented internationally and determined the legal framework of international relations. In such a situation, the practical implementation of the Geneva Convention was quite natural and it is the 1990s, when individuals could have felt their personal accountability for their actions in face of the international humanitarian law and international criminal court. In this regard, first trials involving Slobodan Milosevic and Radovan Karadzic marked the first cases of the individual accountability in terms of the international humanitarian law and international criminal court. In fact, the former Yugoslavia tribunal and its trials were conducted to restore the justice in the former Yugoslavia, while individuals responsible for instances of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity had to response for their action as well as in action. Remarkably, it was the leaders of Yugoslavia and Yugoslavian ethnic groups, who faced the trial because they were responsible for genocide on the territory of Yugoslavia as well as other crimes which were under the jurisdiction of the international humanitarian law and international criminal court. Yugoslavia tribunal marked the full extent to which individuals were accountable for their actions, regardless of their social standing and their position in the country. In fact, even the leader of the nation will respond, if he/she commits crimes which are under the jurisdiction of the international humanitarian law and international criminal court. This was the main lesson of the Yugoslavia tribunal. The same trend could be traced in Rwanda, where the genocide became the reason for the international prosecution of the leaders of Rwanda, who were responsible for the genocide.

In actuality, there are other international criminal court tribunals, such as international criminal tribunals in Cambodia, Sierra Leone, East Timor, and Kosovo, although they bear some elements of national courts and jurisdiction. Nevertheless, the spread of international criminal tribunals proves the individual accountability in face of the international humanitarian law and the possibility of the prosecution and trial involving any individual, who commits war crimes, crimes against humanity, encourages or conducts the policy of genocide and tortures.

The next step in the development of the international humanitarian law and the international criminal court was the adoption of the Rome Statute for an International Criminal Court of 1998. In fact, the Roman Statute laid the legal foundation to the international criminal court, while before, there was just international humanitarian law which admitted the creation of an international criminal court. The Roman Statute was crucial to make the international criminal court one of the fundamental institutions that defined the international legal relations concerning war crimes, crime against humanity, genocide and other issues related to the jurisprudence of the international criminal court and defined by the international humanitarian law. The Roman Statute made the individual accountability within the international humanitarian law and international criminal court virtually irrevocable. In fact, before the Roman Statute, the international humanitarian law could stumble because the creation of the international criminal court was actually postponed and unclear because each individual case involving war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide or torture needed the creation of an international criminal court but the latter was uncertain because of the lack of clear regulations norms and legal standards related to the international criminal court. Instead, the Roman Statute clarified the concept of the international criminal court and made all individuals accountable in face of the international criminal court, if the individual committed crimes that undergo under the jurisdiction of this court.

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