Book Review: The Rights International Companion to Criminal Law & Procedure: An International Human Rights & Humanitarian Law Supplement
Fordham International Law Journal
Copyright c 1999 by the authors. Fordham International Law Journal is produced by The
Berkeley Electronic Press (bepress). http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/ilj
Book Review: The Rights International
Companion to Criminal Law & Procedure: An
International Human Rights & Humanitarian
This Book Review provides a compact supplement to teaching criminal law and procedure by
providing materials on the sources and application of international human rights and humanitarian
law to criminal law. Part One reviews the sources and principles of international law. Part Two
contains treaties and statutes setting forth the principles of state liability and individual culpability.
Part Three provides excerpts from some of the major international criminal tribunals and some of
the applicable treaty law. Part Four discusses criminal procedure. Part Five contains a discussion
of principles of punishment for international crimes and the consideration of the death penalty in
punishment. This Book is a valuable contribution to new and dynamic aspects of the interplay
between international human rights and international criminal law
THE RIGHTS INTERNATIONAL COMPANION TO
CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE: AN INTERNATIONAL HUMAN
RIGHTS & HUMANITARIAN LAW SUPPLEMENT
Reviewed by Bruce Zagaris*
This Book' provides a compact supplement to teaching
criminal law and procedure by providing materials on the
sources and application of international human rights and
humanitarian law to criminal law. The Book has five parts: (1) an
overview of international criminal law and its enforcement
) principles of state liability and individual
) international crimes; (
) criminal procedure; and (
Part One has an overview that explains that the need to
know international human rights and humanitarian law in order
to understand and practice criminal law has several bases:
international law is constitutional law in many countries;
international law is binding on most national courts, such as the United
States; international criminal law is important because such an
approach permits a deeper understanding of issues often arising
before domestic courts; and changing world conditions have
resulted in a globalization of legal accountability. The authors
rightly explain that lawyers practicing domestic criminal law
cannot afford to be unknowledgeable about international criminal
law. Governments increasingly are extraditing or surrendering
individuals to other countries. Domestic courts are increasingly
using international law to prosecute persons committing
international crimes. The rising use and effectiveness of international
courts has resulted in a litigation explosion over the last ten
years in turn resulting in the establishment of a considerable
corpus of international criminal law.
Part One reviews the sources and principles of international
* Partner, Berliner Gorcoran & Rowe, Washington, D.C.; Editor-in-Chief,
International Enforcement Law Reporter.
1. Tim RGHTS INTERNATIONAL COMPANION TO CRUImA. LAw & PROCEDURE: AN
INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS & Humr=AwAN LAW SUPPLEMENT (Francisco Forrest
Martin & RichardJ. Wilson, eds. 1999).
law, the binding effect of human rights, humanitarian, and
criminal law on U.S. and domestic courts, and the history and
operations of international human rights, humanitarian, and criminal
tribunals. The growth and diversity of international tribunals
alone may surprise people.
Part Two first contains the treaties and statutes setting forth
the principles of state liability and individual culpability.
Thereafter, the case law illustrating various legal principles, such as
state liability for failure to investigate, prosecute, and punish
gross human rights violations and other international crimes
and conspiracy and corporate responsibility are provided. After
each section are questions and comments. Although brief, the
questions and comments are incisive and useful.
Part Three, International Crimes, provides excerpts from
some of the major international criminal tribunals and some of
the applicable treaty law. Chapters discuss war crimes, crimes
against peace and humanity, and grave breaches of the Geneva
Conventions, 2 genocide, forced disappearances, and sexual
violence. Contemporary cases, such as the Dusko Tadic 3 and
JeanPaul Akayesu 4 cases from the International Tribunals for
Yugoslavia and Rwanda respectively, illustrate the adjudication of
these principles of law. The questions and comments provide
valuable analyses and trends. For instance, after discussing
complicity for genocide, the authors wonder whether private arms
dealers who provide weapons to persons committing genocide
can be considered guilty of complicity?
Part Four, Criminal Procedure, has a chapter on police
practices, which discusses: eavesdropping, search and seizure,
and the exclusionary rule; arrest; court access for determining
lawfulness of arrest and continuing detention; and pre-trial
publicity and presumption of innocence. A second chapter on trial
due process protection discusses: assistance of legal counsel;
judicial and jury impartiality; examination of witnesses and
ments; right against self-incrimination; right to speedy trial; ex
postfacto or retrospective criminal laws; and double jeopardy or
non bis in idem. This Part has many mainstream issues for
counsel involved in domestic criminal law. It deals with the frequent
application of international human rights law to criminal
procedure and how legal professionals must deal with, e.g., bypassing
judicial forms of review for certain types of crimes, such as
terrorism, in Europe. The discussion in the Questions and Answers
covers the jurisprudential approaches employed by international
tribunals in adjudicating challenges to police power to
conducting search and seizure and arrest. The authors also provide
useful comparative law distinctions in the approaches to issues,
such as "probable cause" or "reasonable suspicion" in making
arrests, the presumption of innocence, and even the different
roles of the judges in pre-trial proceedings.
The chapter on trial due process protection shows the
dynamic nature of the evolution of the law of international
tribunals on the rights and duties of the tribunals, prosecutors, and
defense counsel in providing rights of defendants and victims,
such as effective representation by counsel, rights and
obligations of witnesses, rights and obligations in obtaining and
contesting evidence, the use of anonymous witnesses, the right
against self-incrimination, and so forth. The fact that the
International Criminal Tribunals for Yugoslavia' and Rwanda 6 have a
hybrid character, few precedents, and intense work necessarily
are producing many new precedents that provide fruitful
opportunities for analyses. For instance, the ability to use anonymous
witnesses and the efforts to counterbalance protection of victims
and witnesses with fundamental rights of defendants are quite
novel and important in the development of procedural
Part Five, Punishment, contains discussion of principles of
punishment for international crimes and the consideration of
death penalty in punishment.
The Book enables students, practitioners, academics, and
policymakers to have a compact book that illustrates the
ing interaction of international human rights and humanitarian
law in criminal law and procedure, both in international and
domestic tribunals.7 The organization of the Book facilitates easy
access to the different substantive and procedural issues. The
Book has an abbreviated index. While the Book clearly is
intended as a supplement to a casebook on international human
rights, it would be useful if it would refer to multiple human
rights texts other than the one to which it constantly refers.,
Persons interested in the Book can obtain supplemental
information on the website of The Rights International
Companion Series.9 Under "Publications" on the website, the reader can
find: a key to major texts in criminal law and procedure; and the
newer cases to supplement the text. The use of electronic
commerce and websites to supplement a book is quite handy.
This Book is a valuable contribution to new and dynamic
aspects of the interplay between international human rights and
international criminal law.
2. Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and the Sick in Armed Forces in the Field , Aug. 12 , 1949 , 6 U.S.T. 3114 , 75 U.N.T.S. 31 ; Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition ofWounded , Sick, and Shipwrecked Members ofArmed Forces at Sea, Aug. 12 , 1949 , 6 U.S.T. 3217 , 75 U.N.T.S. 85 ; Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War , Aug. 12 , 1949 , 6 U.S.T. 3316 , 75 U.N.T.S. 135 ; Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War , Aug. 12 , 1949 , 6 U.S.T. 3516 , 75 U.N.T.S. 287 .
3. Prosecutor v. Dusko Tadic, Case No. ICTY-94-1-T (May 7 , 1997 ).
4. Prosecutor v. Jean-Paul Akayesu, Case No. ICIR-96-4-T (Sept. 2 , 1998 ).
5. Statute for the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia , S.C. Res 827, U.N. SCOR , 48th Sess., 3217th mtg., U.N. Doc . S/RES/827 ( 1993 ).
6. Statute for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda , S.C. Res 955, U.N. SCOR , 49th Sess., 3453rd mtg., U.N. Doc . S/RES/955 ( 1994 ).
7. This Book is an improvement of earlier efforts to apply international human rights to criminal cases . See, e.g., HursTHANNUM , MATERIALS ON INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS AND U.S. CRIMINAL PROCEDURE ( 1989 ) ; GUIDE TO INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS PRACTICE (Hurst Hannum , ed., 2d ed. 1992 ).
8. 1 FRANcisco FoRRESr MARTIN , ET AL , INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS LAW AND PRACTICE: CAsEs, TREATIEs AND MATERIALS ( 1997 ).
9. Kluwer Law International (visited May 24, 2000 ) <http://www.kluweraw.com> ( on file with the FordhamInternationalLaw Journal) .