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Posted on April 13th, 2014, by

International and national truth commissions focus on the acknowledgement of the facts through the mechanisms such as truth commissions and fact finding investigative bodies (Cassese, 2008). These commissions are established internationally, nationally or regionally. They have the mandate to discover the truth. The international and national truth commissions back up the prosecution but not substitute it. In fact, the main role of these commissions is to establish a record of what has happened and to disseminate this information widely at both the national and international level. In fact, the international and national truth commissions complement the work of the international and national investigatory commissions since the latter collect evidence, while the former find out the truth and true facts that can either prove or disclaim the guilt of suspects in the course of the trial. In such a way, the international and national truth commissions focus on the in-depth investigation of cases and finding out truth about crimes related to the jurisdiction of the international criminal court and international humanitarian law. Individuals are accountable to such commissions, if the investigation has started. Therefore, these commissions help to find out the truth each particular case and findings of the commissions may be and will be used further in the trial under the international criminal court and international humanitarian law’s jurisdiction.

National prosecution includes all persons who have committed criminal acts, subject, however, to reasonable and justified prosecutorial discretion. The national prosecution should include persons, who have committed four crimes, including war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and torture. The national prosecution is very important in terms of the accountability of individuals for crimes committed that meet the international criminal court and international humanitarian law norms and standards. The prosecution at the national level does not mean that individuals can avoid the prosecution under the jurisdiction of the international criminal court and international humanitarian law. Instead, the national prosecution occurs in accordance to the norms of the international humanitarian law and basically coincides with key requirements and procedures that are applied by the international criminal court.

Individuals may be also accountable to the national lustration mechanism. The national lustration is a purging mechanism whereby individuals, who supported or participated in violations committed by a prior regime, may be removed from their positions and barred from holding positions of the authority in the future. In fact, the national lustration mechanism is applied to individuals, who collaborated with undemocratic regimes and were involved in crimes under the international criminal court and international humanitarian law jurisdiction. At this point, it is possible to refer to the case of Poland, where the national lustration mechanism was applied to former communist leaders and statesmen as well as other individuals, who collaborated with the Communist Party, government and government agencies, such as the intelligence service and other agencies. In such a way, the national lustration became a tool of purging key government bodies and agencies of former supporters of the Communist regime in Poland. Similar practices could be applied in any other country, where individual commit crimes related to the jurisdiction of the international criminal court and international humanitarian law, because individuals are accountable for their crimes in terms of the international criminal court and international humanitarian law, while the national lustration mechanism is the mechanism of their prosecution under the international criminal court and international humanitarian law.

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