Checking date: 25/04/2024

Course: 2024/2025

International criminal law
Master in Criminal and Criminal Procedural Law (Plan: 450 - Estudio: 275)

Coordinating teacher: GARROCHO SALCEDO, ANA MARIA

Department assigned to the subject: Criminal Law, Procedural Law and History Law Department

Type: Compulsory
ECTS Credits: 3.0 ECTS


Requirements (Subjects that are assumed to be known)
- Bachelor Degree in Law - Criminal law: general and special part - International Public Law
With the study of this discipline, the students will learn the functioning and concept of International Criminal Law. They will study the historical origins of this discipline, and the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. Students will also have the opportunity to learn the main principles and imputations forms of the substantive part, and the four crimes part of the International Criminal Law: genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and war crimes. This subject is fully aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals, mainly related to Goal 16 on Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.
Skills and learning outcomes
Description of contents: programme
§ 1. International Criminal Law: Concept and origins. The establishment of the ad hoc international tribunals for the former Yugoslavia (1993) and Rwanda (1994). Other international tribunals: Cambodia, Sierra Leone, Lebanon, Kosovo, Cambodia and Timor Leste. § 2. The International Criminal Court. Jurisdiction and functioning. The exercise of jurisdiction of the ICC. The principle of complementarity of the jurisdiction of the ICC to national jurisdictions. Preliminary investigation. The admissibility of a case and its challenge. Causes of inadmissibility. The confirmation of charges decision by the Trial Chamber. The sentence and the verdict of the Trial Chamber. The appeal of the judgment and other court decisions. The review of the judgment. Cooperation and judicial assistance. § 3. The general principles of international criminal law and applicable law. Principle of legality of offenses and penalties, and non-retroactivity of the Rome Statute. Irrelevance of official position and lack of immunities. Non- Applicability of Statute limitations. § 4. The general part of international criminal law. 1) Individual criminal responsibility: the forms of perpetration and participation (art 25 ECPI) and superior responsibility for failure to act (Article 28 ECPI). 2) The intention and knowledge (art 30 ECPI). 3) The error of fact and law (Article 32 ECPI). 4) Grounds of exclusion of criminal responsibility: a) self-defense or third parties; b) Coercion; c) Intoxication; d) Mental disease. The limited effect of the so-called "due obedience". § 5. The crimes under international criminal law. 1) Genocide. Objective and subjective elements. 2) Crimes against humanity. Elements of context and conducts (murder, torture, disappearances, rape, etc.). 3) War crimes. Elements of context and conducts 4) The crime of aggression. § 6. Transitional Justice processes. The issue of amnesty and pardon. The jurisprudence of the Interamerican Court of Human Rights: Truth, Justice and Reparation and guarantees of non-repetition. § 7. Universal Jurisdicción principle:legislative changes, specific problems and challenges of the future.
Learning activities and methodology
Exposition of theoretical material, seminars with invited speakers/experts, practical cases analysis.
Assessment System
  • % end-of-term-examination 100
  • % of continuous assessment (assigments, laboratory, practicals...) 0

Basic Bibliography
  • Alicia Gil Gil. Derecho penal Internacional. El delito de genocidio. Techos. 1999
  • Gerhard Werle/Florian Jessberger/Boris Bourghardt. Tratado de Derecho Penal Internacional. Tirant lo blanch. 2ª ed: 2011
  • Kai Ambos. La parte general del Derecho penal internacional. Bases para una elaboración dogmática. Konrad Adenauer Stiftung/TEMIS/ Duncker & Humblot. 2005
  • Kai Ambos/Ezequiel Malarino/Elser Gisela. Justicia de Transición. 2009. Konrad Adenauer Stiftung
  • VVAA- Gil Gil/Maculan (Directoras). Derecho penal internacional. Dykinson. 2016
  • VVAA- Gil Gil/Maculan (Directoras). Derecho penal internacional. Dykinson, 2º ed.. 2019
Recursos electrónicosElectronic Resources *
Additional Bibliography
  • Garrocho Salcedo, Ana M.. Imprudencia y derecho penal internacional: algunas consideraciones sobre su previsión en el Estatuto de la Corte Penal Internacional. Revista Electrónica de Ciencia Penal y Criminología. 2017 ,
  • Maculan, Elena. Límites a la expansión de la persecución por crímenes internacionales y al papel del juez-historiador: la aportación de la STS 101/2012. Revista de Derecho Penal y Criminología,. 2012, nº 8
(*) Access to some electronic resources may be restricted to members of the university community and require validation through Campus Global. If you try to connect from outside of the University you will need to set up a VPN

The course syllabus may change due academic events or other reasons.