Prosecuting genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in canadian courts
Toronto : Carswell, 2012
XXX, 405 p. ; 24 cm
Bibliographie : p. 361-386. Index
This book explores the manner in which Canada has implemented some of its obligations under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and how it has dealt with its legal and moral obligations in the fight against impunity for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. It presents the historical context of the adoption of the Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act and explains the complex relation that Canada has traditionally entertained with war criminals present on its territory. It offers an assessment of the jurisdictional bases available for the prosecution of international crimes before Canadian courts, including universal jurisdiction and the requirement of the presence of the accused on Canada's territory as a precondition to its exercise. It also explores the role of the Attorney General of Canada in the exercise of jurisdiction and the criteria that guide – or should guide – the decision to prosecute, in light of the other (non-criminal) remedies available to ensure that the country does not harbor suspected war criminals. The book further offers an analysis of the general principles that are applicable to all crimes pursuant to the Act, particularly the reliance on customary international law in the crimes' definitions. The study also presents an analysis of the specific definitions of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes pursuant to the Act, highlighting potential difficulties in their interpretation or tensions between international law and Canadian criminal and human rights law. It aims at identifying whether the choice made in the Act to rely exclusively on Canadian criminal law to determine individual responsibility may create problems in war crimes prosecutions in Canada and whether the applicable principles might need to be adapted to the particular – collective and massive – nature of crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide.