An Introduction to the Law of International Criminal Tribunals

A Comparative Study. Second Revised Edition


In An Introduction to the Law of International Criminal Tribunals Geert-Jan Alexander Knoops offers an overview of the basic topics in international criminal law (ICL).

It discusses main characteristics of International Criminal Tribunals (ICTs), as well as definitions of international crimes. The book will delve into issues of jurisdiction and complementarity, liability principles and specialized defences. Other topics are: due process rights, evidence, trials in absentia and State cooperation. A new chapter is devoted to the geopolitical effects of international criminal prosecutions.

The second revised edition includes a chapter on the “new” crime of aggression and is updated with the most recent developments in ICL. The book is essential to everyone becoming familiar with the basic topics and challenges within ICL.
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EUR €141.00USD $182.00

Biographical Note

Geert-Jan Alexander Knoops (b. 1960) is visiting professor International Criminal Law at Shandong University, Jinan, China. He holds two Ph.D. degrees, one on criminal law and one on international criminal law. He practices as a lawyer in (international) criminal law at Knoops’ advocaten in Amsterdam.

Table of contents

Excerpt of table of contents:
Chapter I International Criminal Tribunals: Distinctions and Main Features
1. Values and Goals of ICTs
2. The ICTY and ICTR
3. The Origin and Character of the ICC
4. The Emerging Concept of ad hoc Internationalized or Mixed Courts
5. Conclusions: The Legitimacy of ICTs: Selective Enforcement Mechanisms?
Chapter II Defining International Crimes
1. Introduction
2. The Proliferation of the Crime of Genocide within the Law of the Tribunals
3. Proliferation of ICTY-ICTR Case Law on the Crime of Genocide
4. The ICTY-ICTR Statutory and Jurisprudential Elements of the Crime of Genocide
5. Crimes against Humanity before ICTs
6. The Concept of War Crimes before ICTs
Chapter III The ICC Crime of Aggression: Proliferation or Politicization of International Criminal Law?
1. Introduction
2. Defining the Crime of Aggression
3. Pitfalls of the Jurisdictional Mechanism on the Crime of Aggression
4. The Crime of Aggression and its Impact on Liability Modes
5. Implementation of the Crime of Aggression at Domestic Level
6. Conclusion
Chapter IV Jurisdiction and Complementarity
1. Introduction
2. Jurisdiction
3. Admissibility
Chapter V Criminal liability Principles Envisioned by ICTs
1. Introduction: Emergence of General Principles
2. Actus Reus and Mens Rea
3. Liability Modes in International Criminal Law
Chapter VI International Criminal Law Defenses
1. Introduction
2. Procedural Defenses
3. Duress and Necessity as Defenses before ICTs
4. The Limited Scope of the Defense of Superior Orders under the Law of ICTs
5. The Defenses of Mental Insanity, Diminished Responsibility and Intoxication before ICTs
6. The Jurisprudential and Statutory Self-Defense under the Laws of ICTs
7. Alibi Defenses
Chapter VII General Principles of Criminal Evidence envisioned by ICTs
1. Procedural Nature and Characteristics of Proceedings before ICTs
2. Contemporary Procedural Pre-Trial Aspects of ICTs
3. Contemporary Procedural Trial Aspects of ICTs
Chapter VIII Principles of Criminal Evidence before ICTs
1. Requisite Standards of Proof before ICTs
2. Requisite Standards of Proof before ICTs
3. Disclosure of Evidence
4. Admissibility of Evidence
5. Presentation and appreciation of evidence by ICTs
Chapter IX Due Process Principles before ICTs
1. Introduction
2. Definition of Due Process Rights Relevant to ICTs
3. The Influx of Common Standards of Due Process to ICTs
Chapter X International State Cooperation with ICTs: Obtaining Evidence Abroad
1. International State Cooperation with ICTs Obtaining Evidence Abroad
Chapter XI The International Criminal Court within the Geopolitical World Order
1. Introduction
2. Geopolitical Effect of ICC Prosecutions
3. The Position of Superpowers vis-à-vis the ICC
4. Conclusion
Chapter XII Trials in Absentia
1. Introduction
2. Trials in Absentia


All interested in teaching and learning about International Criminal Law, as well as practitioners in the field.