The Relationship Between State and Individual Responsibility for International Crimes

By:

BEATRICE I. BONAFÈ, THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN STATE AND INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR INTERNATIONAL CRIMES. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2009. Pp. xii, 281. $160.00.

The international community has two mechanisms for addressing the most serious international crimes of genocide, torture, aggression, crimes against humanity and war crimes. States may be held responsible for breaches of their international obligations and individuals may also face criminal trials for their breaches of international law. While trying many of the same crimes, these systems have diverged in significant ways. The courts that address state responsibility, like the International Court of Justice (ICJ), can order countries to pay fines and restitution, but they do not have the power to incarcerate anyone. The courts that try individuals, such as the International Criminal Court (ICC), prosecute individuals only, not the state or government as a whole, and do have the power to incarcerate violators.