International Court and private citizen

Alexander Zahar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)


The protection of individuals' rights, often necessary against their own states, may sometimes also be necessary against international organizations. This is a particularly delicate matter where the international organization is meant to represent international law and justice. Drawing on the experience of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the author argues that the operations of the International Criminal Court will inevitably have a direct and significant impact on the treatment of individuals in countries that are not able or willing to stand up for their citizens' rights and interests under state laws or international law. The interface of the ICC with the ordinary state national is generally not regulated by the ICC's statute and rules (just as it is not by the ICTY's) and, in the absence of regular and effective state protections, constitutes a lawless frontier at which the court is potentially all-powerful and the individual is at its mercy. The strong state/weak state divide (along with that of citizens enjoying correspondingly strong/weak legal protections) offers the ICC opportunities for evidence-gathering, but also risks damage to the Court's moral standing and reputation for justice. The author concludes that the ICC needs to institute, at the very least, a policy that foresees such situations and aims to maintain a balance of rights and interests in the relationship of international court and private citizen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)569-589
Number of pages21
JournalNew Criminal Law Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Published as 'New Criminal Law Review: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal, Vol. 12, No. 4 (Fall 2009), pp. 569-589.' © 2009 by the Regents of the University of California. Copying and permissions notice: Authorization to copy this content beyond fair use (as specified in Sections 107 and 108 of the U. S. Copyright Law) for internal or personal use, or the internal or personal use of specific clients, is granted by the Regents of the University of California for libraries and other users, provided that they are registered with and pay the specified fee via Rightslink® on [Caliber (] or directly with the Copyright Clearance Center,


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