Islamic law (Shari'a) and the jurisdiction of international criminal court
Mohamed Elewa Badar
Host item entries:
Leiden journal of international law, Vol. 24, issue 2, 2011, p. 411-433
Although the International Criminal Court (ICC) has been mostly hailed as a victory, Islamic states still regard its application of international criminal-law norms with scepticism. The Rome Statute instructs the Court to apply general principles of law derived from national laws of legal systems of the world including the national laws of states that would normally exercise jurisdiction over the crime but, so far, the Court has relied purely upon Western inspiration and may fail to acquire the legitimacy to establish a universal system. Among the legal systems that are unjustifiably neglected by the ICC is the Islamic legal tradition. This paper argues that the principles of Islamic law are, for the most part, consistent with internationally recognized norms and standards, particularly those enshrined in the Rome Statute, and are on an equal footing with the common and Continental legal systems that are currently employed by the Court in the search for general principles of law.