International Criminal Law

Quick Info
(2440.03)  Course
T. Adhihetty; Adjunct Professor
3 credit(s)  3 hour(s);
This course is synchronous remote (Zoom); guest lectures (for example, practitioners at international institutions); class discussions
Upper Year Research & Writing Requirement

Ending impunity for those responsible for atrocity crimes – such as war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and aggression – is one of the goals of international criminal law (ICL). The course aims to provide students with a program oriented to the practice of ICL, underpinned by a strong framework of ICL doctrine and theory. Both substantive ICL (e.g., elements of crime, modes of liability) and procedural ICL (e.g., admissibility of evidence, victim/witness protective measures) will be discussed and debated. They will be studied alongside the policy, geopolitical and ethical considerations of ICL, such as during the creation of new international courts/tribunals (arguably new legal systems) and the conduct of international investigations. The course will consider how ICL relates to and interacts with international humanitarian law (also known as the law of war or the law of armed conflict), international human rights law and public international law.
Four of the key features of the course include the following.
(1)          Examining, analyzing and applying ICL to contemporaneous and ongoing situations, such as those in Sudan, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Myanmar and Ukraine.
(2)        Surveying, comparing and evaluating the past and ongoing evolution of ICL, which is a relatively new field of law. As part of studying this evolution, students will view it through the lenses of:
·        Institutions starting from the International Military Tribunals at Nuremburg and for the Far East, to the ad hoc and permanent tribunals/courts established in the 1990s and 2000s (e.g., International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, International Criminal Court), to the recent accountability mechanisms (e.g., UN Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh/ISIL);

·        Crimes such as the four ‘core crimes’ (i.e., war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and aggression), terrorism (as considered and applied at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon), and the recently proposed crime of ecocide, and
·        Types of individuals and entities accused of atrocity crimes, such as natural persons, corporations and States.
(3)        Identifying, understanding and incorporating new technologies and techniques in building ICL cases (e.g., investigator or prosecutor roles) and responding to such cases (e.g., defence counsel or legal representative of victims roles), such as open-source videos and photos from social media, satellite imagery, mobile phone call data records and remote video-link interviews.
(4)        Viewing, analyzing and critiquing ICL through the perspectives of victims, accused, investigative bodies, prosecution offices, defence entities/counsel, victims’ legal representatives, civil society, judges, affected States and third-party States.