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date: 10 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the pluralistic nature of international criminal procedure. International criminal procedure refers to the procedures used at the international criminal courts and tribunals that were established to address war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and other serious offenses. The chapter begins with an overview of the evolution of modern international criminal procedure, first at the ad hoc tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda and then at hybrid courts and the International Criminal Court. It then discusses the goals pursued by international criminal procedure, such as: providing a fair trial, establishing the truth, enforcing criminal laws effectively, respecting human rights, and promoting the rule of law. Different views about the proper weight to be placed on each of these goals leads to diverse procedures across and within international criminal courts. The chapter considers two examples of pluralism in international criminal procedure: judicial management of criminal proceedings and involvement of victims in the proceedings. Finally, the chapter offers a normative assessment of pluralism in international criminal procedure. While diversity of procedures can help international criminal courts arrive at solutions that address the unique political and practical challenges of international criminal justice, divergent procedures within the same court raise concerns about predictability and equal treatment.

Keywords: international criminal procedure, ad hoc tribunals, hybrid courts, International Criminal Court, criminal laws, human rights, fair trial, rule of law, pluralism, criminal proceedings

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