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Part 3 General Principles of Criminal Law: Principes Généraux Du Droit Pénal, Art.29 Non-applicability of statute of limitations/Imprescriptibilité

William A. Schabas

From: The International Criminal Court: A Commentary on the Rome Statute (2nd Edition)

William A Schabas

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 16 June 2024

Elements of crimes — International criminal law, conduct of proceedings — Evidence

This chapter comments on Article 29 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Article 29 declares that crimes within the Court's jurisdiction are not subject to a statute of limitations. None of the preceding international instruments concerned with international prosecution of atrocities, from the Charter of the International Military Tribunal to the statutes of the ad hoc tribunals, have contained anything similar. This is only logical, because in the absence of texts within the instruments creating a time bar, silence was all that was required. There is also ample precedent for States refusing to extradite offenders where crimes are time barred under their own legislation. At the very least article 29 operates as an answer to any argument from a State Party whereby extradition might be refused because of a statutory limitation in its own domestic penal code.

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