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Contribution to Book
'Strengthening national capacity to prosecute genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes within the International Criminal Court System’
Innovations in the Rule of Law (2012)
  • Emilie Hunter, European University Institute

The capacity of national justice sector institutions to prosecute the perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes is one of the greatest challenges to national rule of law initiatives within the context of peace and security. Approximately 60% of States Parties of the International Criminal Court (ICC) are yet to adapt their national legal framework to the cooperation requirements, crimes and modes of liability defined by the ICC Statute. Positive Complementarity is the most important conceptual insight to address this. Emerging from the Office of the Prosecutor, positive complementarity is a broad stakeholder enterprise. The ICC Assembly of States has invited States, international organisations and NGOs to participate in a national capacity development framework. Practical and innovative efforts to address national capacity have directly tackled three of the most prohibitive aspects of core international crime adjudication: complexity, quantity and cost. Two such examples include the Legal Tools Database (LTD) the largest online library of documents relevant to the practice of international criminal law, and the Case Matrix Network (CMN), which provides users with technology aided services to assist in the investigation, prosecution and adjudication of core international crimes. The international community has contributed steadfastly to the development of positive complementarity and can continue to further its impact by mainstreaming accountability measures for core international crime into its legal technical assistance and capacity developing programmes, ensuring that activities are driven by thorough analysis of the need of national justice sectors and reflective of cost effective methods of delivery.

  • Rule of law,
  • positive complementarity,
  • domestic prosecution of core international crimes,
  • positive complementarity,
  • efficiency,
  • cost effective adjudication
Publication Date
June, 2012
Juan Carlos Botero, Ronald Janse, Sam Muller and Christine Pratt
HiiL and World Justice Project
Citation Information
Emilie Hunter. "'Strengthening national capacity to prosecute genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes within the International Criminal Court System’" Innovations in the Rule of Law (2012)
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