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The pre-trial procedures and principles of the International Criminal Court

Felix E. Eboibi


Following the heinous cruelties perpetuated by the Nazi regime during the World War II, the world was baffled by the expanse of brutality human beings could commit against one another. However, there was absence of a universal acceptable international criminal procedural structure to try perpetrators of the atrocities. The consequent Nuremberg criminal proceedings were undertaken based on her own rules of evidence; no acceptable laid down procedure and principles; charges against the accused persons were done ex-post facto and devoid of any country’s law. The subsequent atrocities in former Yugoslavia and Rwanda in 1993 and 1994 respectively which in turn led to the establishment of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and International Criminal Tribunal, Rwanda (ICTR) engineered a positive nod that an international criminal court with attendant procedural provisions was indeed needed to urgently address the escalating issues of atrocities in the international community. Despite the creation of the ICC with attendant procedures and principles and commencement of operations sometime in 2002, legal experts, public affairs analysts and media personnel are yet to appreciate the workings of the ICC. The issues on the pre-trial procedures and principles of the ICC, appears regularly in the literature, media and have entered the public domain, yet it is still not easy to comprehend. At first glance, the sheer number of these publications seems discouraging, in that it might be assumed to confuse than inform. Against this background, this paper attempts to put the ambiguities aside and critically examine the pre-trial procedures and principles of the ICC.

Keywords: Jurisdiction, International Criminal Proceedings, Pre-Trial Procedures and Principles, Complementarity, Confirmation of Charges