Dealing With International Crime

Dealing With International Crime





International Instruments

· Formal legal documents e.g. treaties and conventions

· E.g. Rome Statute (1998) established the ICC.

· Written down

· Developed by international bodies

· Encourages cooperation

· Not all countries ratify

· Hard to enforce

· Limited by state sovereignty

Customary International Law

· Procedures and principles established over time

· Generally accepted globally.

· Different countries have different customs

International Court of Justice

· Judicial arm of the United Nations

· Hears cases between nations

· Issues advisory opinions

· Platform for issues/disputes to be heard

· Countries can ignore rulings

· Infrequent

· Very little power of enforcement

Specialist Criminal Tribunal

· Before establishment of the ICC, crimes were dealt with at a domestic level

· Various ad hoc tribunals have been established over time

· E.g. Int. Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (1993), Int. Criminal Tribunal Rwanda (1994)

· Using the legal system to create justice

· Can prosecute individuals

· Int. Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia – 260 prosecutions

· Infrequent and rare

· Lack of convictions and trials

· Not preventative

· Expensive

International Criminal Court

· Est. 2002 and is the world’s first non-conflict specific tribunal

· Est. by the Rome Statute

· Permanent international court.

· Most serious international crimes e.g. genocide, war crimes.

· Court of last resort

· Over 110 parties have agreed to Rome Statute and ICC

· Symbolically powerful – international message

· Can act as a deterrent

· USA has not ratified the Rome Statute

· Not preventative

· Expensive

· Can only hear cases after 2002


· Action taken by the international community against a state that has broken international law

· Can be political, economic, financial or physical

· Can coerce states into abiding


· Can harm other states

· Can harm civilians

· Does not fix the issue


· A person is handed to another state because they accused of committing a crime in the latter state

· Ensures that an offender cannot flee jurisdiction

· Australia has 130 extradition agreements

· Extradition Act 1988

· Offences in one country may not be an offence in another

· Needs a treaty

· Relies on cooperation

Cooperation between nations

· Cooperation between law enforcement agencies

· Leads to arrest and charge of some transnational criminals

· E.g. Bali bombings.

· Infrequent

· Lack of deterrence


Extract from Legal Studies Stage 6 Syllabus. © 2009 Board of Studies NSW.