Explain the principle of complementarity as it relates to the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. Principle of Complementarity is specifically embodied in Article 17 of the Rome Statute on International Criminal Court which lays down the rule that international court cannot hear, try, and decide crimes, which are of international in nature, not unless the concerned state had decided on the case. Generally, international court has jurisdiction over crimes having international interest. But the national court has been recognized to have legal jurisdiction and capacity over the crimes.
The reason behind the principle is that, the state where the case has originated should be respected as to its dominant jurisdiction and capacity to try, hear, and decide over the international crime. More importantly, the international court recognizes that courts of the States are more efficient and effective in carrying out the proceeding as they have an easier access to the witnesses, evidences, and other necessary resources. Furthermore, the principle of complementarity promotes for the settlement or negotiation of the case at the early stage rather than reaching the arduous process in the international court.
However, the international court may supplant over the international crime should the national judicial system failed to try the case. 5. What forms does mutual legal assistance in criminal matters take? Generally, mutual legal assistance treaties are signed by member nations to enhance cooperation in investigating and resolving cases. Through the mutual legal assistance, the prosecutor, police, and court will have an increased access to the evidences and witnesses located abroad. And also through this, many forms of criminal procedures would be dealt with.
One of these is the easier access to the evidences and written testimonies of the witnesses. Another is conducting a legal search and seizures even in a foreign land. In addition, there would be an effective way of summoning witnesses and suspects without the need of other arduous processes like extradition. Notably, most forms of mutual assistance have been based on international comity and on bilateral agreements that covered the same areas. Hence, mutual legal assistance would take the form of an easier, effective, and efficient way of investigating international crimes.
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