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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Aut dedere aut iudicare

Michael P Scharf

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 30 May 2023

Right to fair trial — Judicial assistance — Extradition and mutual assistance — Aut dedere aut judicare — Prosecution — Genocide — Customary international law — Peremptory norms / ius cogens

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law under the direction of Professor Anne Peters (2021–) and Professor Rüdiger Wolfrum (2004–2020). 

1 Enforcement of international criminal law is entrusted primarily to States, under a formula known as aut dedere aut iudicare, meaning extradite or prosecute. This formula was first suggested by Hugo Grotius, who in 1625 wrote:The state…ought to do one of two things … It should either punish the guilty person as he deserves, or it should entrust him to the discretion of the party making the appeal. This latter course is rendition … [A] people or king is not absolutely bound to surrender a culprit, but …either to surrender or to punish him. (At 526–28.)2 Under the...
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