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Part 3 General Principles of Criminal Law: Principes Généraux Du Droit Pénal, Art.22 Nullum crimen sine lege

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, 2021. All Rights Reserved.date: 26 January 2021

Subject(s):
Human rights remedies — Elements of crimes — International criminal law, conduct of proceedings — Evidence

This chapter comments on Article 22 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. According to the ‘principle of legality’, a person may not be punished if incriminating acts, when they were committed, were not prohibited by law. The rule is one of the rare provisions set out as a non-derogable norm in all of the major human rights conventions. Article 22 is the first of three provisions dealing with issues of retroactivity. A Trial Chamber explained that ‘[r]ead together, these three provisions pertain to the substantive law, such as the crimes set out in Articles 5 to 8bis of the Statute. The principle of non-retroactivity is more applicable to matters of substance than to those of procedure’.

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