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Posted on April 13th, 2014, by

One crime individuals are accountable for in terms of the international criminal court and international humanitarian law is torture. Torture is generally considered to be an aggravated form of inhuman treatment. Torture is prohibited as a war crime, when it is a part of widespread or systematic practice accounting to a crime against humanity, and torture is also prohibited as a single act (Cassese, Gaeta and Jones, 2002). This crime is grave and the international criminal court and international humanitarian law aim at the prosecution of individuals accountable for this crime. Torture is the crime that may be committed in different situations and environment. Unlike war crimes, for instance, tortures do not necessarily involve military actions. Moreover, often authoritarian regimes use torture as the means of obtaining important information and terrorizing the population to keep people obedient and to prevent revolts. However, individuals conducting tortures are still accountable for their crime, even if the national legislation and criminal justice system protect them. These individuals are not immune in face of the international criminal court and international humanitarian law. The treat torture as a crime and all individuals, who commits this crime are accountable to the international criminal court and international humanitarian law. Unlike the crime against humanity, for instance, tortures should not necessarily bear a systematic character. Instead, any single torture is already a reason for legal prosecution of an individual under the international criminal court and international humanitarian law. Therefore, individuals should be aware of possible consequences of their actions involving torture at the international level since torture is a grave crime and individuals conducting torture are liable to the legal prosecution at the international level.

Accountability mechanisms may vary consistently but individuals should be aware of their accountability in terms of the international criminal court and international humanitarian law. In fact, the accountability mechanism is crucial because, in the past, for instance, during the Cold War, individuals were not accountable for crimes that currently undergo under the jurisdiction of the international criminal court and international humanitarian law. Even though, there was the Geneva Convention and foundations of the international humanitarian law have already been laid but because of the tension between two superpowers they did not work properly. As a result, the international humanitarian law existed only virtually, while, in the real life, the law did not work. Today, the international criminal court and international humanitarian law have already become an integral part of international relations and they have been applied successfully. The introduction of the Roman Statute enhanced consistently the international criminal court and international humanitarian law and made them an integral part of the contemporary international relations, while all individuals are accountable to the international criminal court and international humanitarian law, regardless of their location, status, and whatsoever.

The major methods of the accountability are international and national prosecution. International prosecutions currently include prosecutions before the international criminal court and the existing ad hoc international criminal tribunals for Yugoslavia and Rwanda. As a rule, the international prosecution policies are limited to leaders, policy makers, and senior executors. In fact, the international prosecution comes into play when the national one is powerless in face of suspects or offenders, who have committed crimes accountable o the international criminal court and international humanitarian law. The focus of the international prosecution on leaders, policy makers and top executors is particularly important because they are untouchable at the national level, as a rule.

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