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‘Balancing the Principle of Complementarity between International and Domestic War Crimes Tribunals’ by Dr Mark S. Ellis

May 8, 2015 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

The drafters of the ICC’s Rome Statute, foresaw what would become the main challenge to the Court’s legitimacy: that it could violate national sovereignty. To address this concern, the drafters added the principle of complementarity to the ICC’s jurisdiction, in that the Court’s province merely complements the exercise of jurisdiction by the domestic courts of the Statute’s member states. The ICC honours the authority of those states to conduct their own trials. However, if the principle of complementarity is to be applied, states must ensure that their own judicial systems and trials are consistent with international standards of independence and fairness, the ICC must be willing to actively support, embrace, and implement the principle, and the international community must provide the financial, technical, and professional resources that many struggling states need in this endeavour.

Dr MARK S. ELLIS:  As Executive Director of the International Bar Association (IBA) Mark Ellis leads the foremost international organization of bar associations, law firms and individual lawyers in the world. The IBA is comprised of 203 national bar associations, major international law firms and 40,000 individual members from around the world. Twice a Fulbright Scholar at the Economic Institute in Zagreb, Croatia, he earned his J.D. and B.S. (Economics) degrees from Florida State University and his PhD in Law from King’s College, London. In 2012, he was awarded the Degree of Doctor of Laws (LL.D), honoris causa, from The College of Law of England and Wales.


Prof MALIK R. DAHLAN, Principal, Institution Quraysh for Law & Policy, Qatar
Dr LEENA GROVER, , Swiss National Science Foundation Research Fellow
Dr SARAH NOUWEN, University of Cambridge
Dr SIMON DE SMET, University of Cambridge


Lauterpacht Centre for International Law


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