The Role Played by External Case Law in Promoting the Legitimacy of International Criminal Court Decisions

In: Nordic Journal of International Law
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  • 1 Norway

International criminal courts and tribunals (ICTs) often refer to jurisprudence from other ICTs when reaching a decision. This can help increase the legitimacy of their decision-making. This article focuses on the International Criminal Court (ICC) and examines when the ICC may refer to the decisions from other courts; when it in fact does so; when it has chosen to deviate from the decisions of other ICTs; and how this has affected the legitimacy of its decisions. The ICC has generally been mindful in its approach towards referring to jurisprudence from other ICTs, but has not been afraid to deviate from it on occasion in decisions concerning both substantive and procedural law. The article argues that where possible the Court should interpret the law in line with other ICTs’ decisions. This will help increase the legitimacy both of the Court’s own decisions and the field of ICL as a whole.