International Criminal Law: A Fallacy or Reality?

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The opinion that those persons who commit heinous acts against others should be held responsible for those actions, especially in the laws of war, have been present for centuries. It was not until after World War I, that this type of justice would gain an international stage. However, even though the Great War claimed the lives of millions of service members and citizens on each front it was viewed as the nation that was held responsible not the individual. World War II was a different matter. Though commanders received orders from high command it was ultimately under their discretion as how to proceed. Both the Axis and Allied powers committed atrocities, however history is written by the victors. At the end of World War II the crimes committed by the Germans and Japanese armed forces would come to light during the tribunals in Nuremberg and Tokyo. Unlike the war reparations of World War I, these trials would focus on the individuals who ordered the actions and those who were accomplices. These trials, and those of more recent years, would set the foundation of a plausible international criminal court and law to follow. The current court however is still in its infancy. Even international criminal law is continuing to evolve and develop in order to more effectively prosecute those who commit these atrocious acts. However, with the effect of globalization and the continuing cooperation of nations to aid one another, even with an underlying political agenda, the growth and plausibility of an international court can gain ground in the field of reality. Currently, those who commit crimes of an international scale are brought to trial through tribunals and as of 2002, more often through the International Criminal Court. Though, even... ... middle of paper ... ... and in any place in the international realm especially since the growth of human trafficking where nearly half of those attacks can be placed. Though crimes against humanity can and are committed during times of war the separate category of war crimes, which can fall under international humanitarian law, is a violation of the laws and customs of war. These are breaches on international humanitarian law and its actions include: willful killing, torture or inhumane treatment of civilians and prisoners of war. The foundations of these crimes are found under the Geneva conventions held in 1949 consisting of four treaties and additional protocols. These laws and statues however exist only in times in international armed conflict. A separate, and shorter list, of prosecutable crimes in non-international conflict is provided by the ICC (Artice 8, 1998 Statute of the ICC).

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