Find Out More
Return to International Justice in the News.
International Criminal Procedure. The Interface of Civil Law and Common Law Legal Systems.
The idea for this book came to myself and my co-editor – Linda Carter, professor at McGeorge School of Law – after we handled several co-teaching sessions on international criminal procedure, essentially a new branch of law given the poor legacy of the post WWII international criminal tribunals. During these joint lectures, which took place both at McGeorge and at the LLM program on international criminal law administered by the University of Turin and UNICRI, we focused on the interaction of civil law and common law reflected in the rules of procedure and evidence applied by existing international criminal courts and tribunals. Our wish to have a deeper insight into this interaction led to further discussions. We made the decision to edit a book on the subject at Schloss Leopoldskron, on the outskirts of Salzburg, during the 2010 Brandeis Institute for International Judges, an ideal venue given that the authors had first met there a few years earlier.
Our book selects a number of main issues on which common law and civil law diverge significantly – plea bargaining, witness proofing, written and oral evidence, self-representation and the use of assigned counsel, the role of victims, and the right to appeal. Each of these issues is dealt with in a chapter of the book by contributing authors who come from both common and civil law systems from different parts of the world, and who have experience in international criminal tribunals. The comparative perspective offered by contributors with different background sheds significant light on the challenges inherent in shaping procedures in international criminal courts, and thus we hope it may constitute a source of inspiration for the improvement of current practices.