International criminal courts operate under a distinctive procedural law, which is a unique blend of the civil law and common law systems. This mixture causes disputes between civil law and common law lawyers because the frameworks of thought that underlie the two systems are occasionally difficult to reconcile. Suggesting that international criminal procedure not be viewed solely through the lens of one particular legal system, this book offers an alternative approach, which bypasses the civil law-common law divide. The author applies a method of contextual legal comparison and a focus on the special characteristics of international criminal trials. This approach helps to assess whether the design of a particular procedural element is appropriate for international criminal trials.
The book provides brief depictions of procedural elements, allowing readers to acquaint themselves quickly with the other legal systems’ procedures; a summary of the analysis in a nutshell, making the book accessible for readers with little time at their disposal; and an annex containing excerpts of domestic legal codes which are relevant to the discussed procedural elements, allowing readers to consult the texts of the discussed laws.
This book is a valuable source and tool for scholars and practitioners working in international criminal law, in particular at the International Criminal Court.
Christine Schuon is working for the Chambers of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.