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International Crimes and the Ad Hoc Tribunals$
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Guénaël Mettraux

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199207541

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199207541.001.0001

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Jurisdiction ratione personae and Applicable Law

Jurisdiction ratione personae and Applicable Law

(p.270) 18 Jurisdiction ratione personae and Applicable Law
International Crimes and the Ad Hoc Tribunals

Guénaél Mettraux

Oxford University Press

The statutes of the ad hoc tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia do not explicitly specify the body of law according to which they are to determine the scope and definitions of those forms of liability which are provided for under their statutes. At the Yugoslav tribunal, the appeals chamber has made it clear, however, that the statute of the tribunal only provides an a priori jurisdictional framework ratione personae and that, ultimately, the existence (and constitutive elements) of a particular form of criminal liability under international law as well as the tribunal’s jurisdiction over that particular form of liability (and scope thereof) will be determined by customary international law. The issue of applicable law, ratione personae, has not yet been raised explicitly at the Rwanda tribunal, but it is more than probable that the tribunal should also have recourse to customary international law to determine the scope of its jurisdiction ratione personae.

Keywords:   jurisdiction, ratione personae, applicable law, statutes, criminal liability, international law

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