International criminal court, surrender of accused persons and transfer of criminal proceedings
The present research focuses on analysing the judicial uncertainty in the implementation, interpretation and application of the ICC Statute both in international and national arenas. In this context examined are the parameters of state sovereignty as the main source of theoretical as well as practical contemporary debate on the relationship between lex specialis character of ICC norms and domestic legal regimes. Varying and frequently inconsistent degrees of international and national compliance with international criminal law due to the multiplicity of legal regimes are scrutinised by analysing the relationship between national and ICC measures with regard to aspects of pretrial proceedings, such as surrender of accused persons and transfer of criminal proceedings, rights of suspects and defendants as well as some aspects of sentencing in so far as they affect the prima facie jurisdiction. One of the main objectives of the ICC Treaty is to advance the unification of international criminal law. Whilst it may be contended that this body of law is acquiring a great degree of specificity and uniformity in content through the Statute, both its development and importantly its scope are fundamentally reliant on interpretation and application at national level; it is here that international criminal law is fragmented. Consequently, its understanding and enforcement are inconsistent. The ICC Statute presents issues that are the result of the fusion of common and civil law traditions as well as a blend of diverse criminal laws within each one of those systems. Distinguishing between Anglo-American and Continental European criminal procedures has become increasingly complex and transgressed. Such blend of legal traditions, whilst it must ensure that justice is rendered with equality, fairness and effectiveness, generates nevertheless everincreasing lack of legal orientation. The aim of this pastiche is therefore to establish an international, uniform standard across contemporary justice systems. However, the application of the ICC provisions will depend on particular method of implementation of the Rome Treaty into domestic law, local political situation, the nature of a conflict (armed conflict is where most of the ICC crimes are likely to occur), any peace process involving regional amnesties and pardons and domestic policies and rules on sentencing. The general perception of the ICC and the law it represents is that of a powerful, centralised regime. Contrary to this belief, a proposition is made here for a less hierarchical international criminal justice that is fundamentally reliant upon national courts and law enforcement agencies. Such a proposition emphasises the need for the ICC involvement at a local level. In this context, the thesis sets out to clarify the ICC law and related Statute enforcement issues.