Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Law (SJD)




The principle of individual criminal responsibility evidences the recognition by the international community that crimes against international law are committed by individuals, not abstract entities and only by punishing individuals who commit such crimes can the provisions of international law be enforced.

This principle which was first propagated by the Nuremberg tribunal has now been confirmed and codified by the international community in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The Rome Statute established a sui generis permanent international criminal court and unequivocally provides that a person who commits a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court shall be held individually responsible and liable for punishment.

This study explores this undertaking by the international community to replace the culture of impunity with the culture of accountability. The study celebrates the historic establishment of the Court but suggests that it is not yet time for hurrah. The international community must demonstrate its support for the Court by mustering the political will to cooperate fully with the Court and free the Court from inherent bottlenecks in the Statute that may restrict the effectiveness of the Court.

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