The Enigmatic Principle of Complementarity: A Negotiated Machinery for Implementing International Criminal Law
Keywords:Complementarity, primacy, Nuremberg Tribunal, Tokyo Tribunal, ICTR, ICTY, International Criminal Court, admissibility, state sovereignty
The International Criminal Court (ICC) is the first court of its kind—a permanent international criminal tribunal. It has introduced a new kind of jurisdictional principle, namely the principle of complementarity. However, the idea of a forum exercising jurisdiction over transgressors of rules of international criminal law did not emerge with the ICC and can be traced back to the Nuremberg Tribunal. When the idea to establish a permanent international criminal court came about, it was apparent that the doctrine of state sovereignty and the territoriality principle would be the biggest hurdles that would have to be overcome. Complementarity would prove to be the solution that was agreed upon.
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