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Crimes against Humanity »

Guido Acquaviva, Fausto Pocar
1 The idea that some elementary principles of humanity should be adhered to in all circumstances, including during armed conflicts, has surfaced at various times throughout history (see also Civilian Population in Armed Conflict; Humanitarian Law, International). During the past century, the unprecedented massive scale of crimes aimed at degrading whole categories of victims and perpetrated as part of the policy of States or State-like structures has gradually led to the recognition under international law of ‘crimes against humanity’ (see also International...

Stare decisis »

Guido Acquaviva, Fausto Pocar
1 According to the doctrine of stare decisis, also expressed as stare rationibus decisis, a court is to follow accepted and established legal principles set out in previous cases decided by the same court as well as by other courts of equal or higher rank in respect of litigated and necessarily decided issues (as opposed to obiter dicta; Obiter Dictum). The doctrine is one of the means by which a legal system ensures its own internal uniformity, coherence, and predictability in the application of the law. At the same time, it does not preclude the possibility of...

5 Trial Process »

Guido Acquaviva, Nancy Combs, Yvonne McDermott, Mikaela Heikkilä, Suzannah Linton, Sergey Vasiliev
From: International Criminal Procedure: Principles and Rules
Edited By: Göran Sluiter, Håkan Friman, Suzannah Linton, Sergey Vasiliev, Salvatore Zappalà
This chapter seeks to identify whether there are any general rules and principles of international criminal procedure in the organization of trials. The trial stage is seen as the central event in the criminal process, a forum for the court’s examination of the evidence on which it decides the issue of innocence or guilt and renders the appropriate sentence. However, there are critical linkages with other stages of the criminal process, as well as cross-cutting issues, e.g. the law of evidence; the rights of the accused and the rights, competences, and...