International Criminal Law generally includes law that comes from international courts such as the tribunals in Yugoslavia and Rwanda and most recently, the International Criminal Court. These Courts are generally concerned with war crimes, crimes against peace, crimes against humanity, and genocide.
International Criminal Law has a broader reach, however. For example, crimes can routinely cross the borders of different nations. These crimes can be seen as “trans-national crimes” and include drug trafficking, trans-national organized crime, terrorism, and foreign corrupt practices.
These trans-national crimes could include money laundering and computer crimes.
International Criminal Law is generally consensual in nature and is generally stated in the statute of the International Court of Justice and the Rome statute of the International Criminal Court.
Jurisdictional issues have always been central to International Criminal Law and a classic case on jurisdiction is the case of S.S. Lotus (France v. Turkey) 1927 P.C.I.J. (ser.A)10.
A key aspect to resolving international disputes is “customary international law” as described in the Supreme Court case Paquete Habana 175 U.S. 677 (1900).
There are certain key terms in International Law including:
Comity, meaning customary, or reciprocity.
Erga Omnes which refers to a states standing to enforce certain rights that belong to the international community.
Extraterritoriality, or acts that occur outside the territory of the state.
Jus Cogens is the “compelling law”, the highest of obligations under law placed upon countries.
Ne Bis in idem which is the international version of the concept of double jeopardy.
This brief overview will serve to make clear the essential structural basis of international criminal law. If you need legal assistance for your international criminal law case, attorney Andrrew J. Schatkin has the necessary experience to help you. Call 516-932-8120 or fill out our contact form to arrange a consultation.