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Currently, the world has witnessed a significant increase of crimes, including those with international character. States conclude agreements about the fight against certain types of criminal acts and international legal assistance in criminal cases, carry out joint measures to prevent and combat crime and bring the perpetrators to justice. Therefore, at this time, international criminal law is one of the fastest growing areas of law, the importance of which can hardly be overestimated. This area needs further development.

However, development of international criminal law is possible only upon condition of exploring its current trends and prediction of its future trends. Thus, the thesis of this essay is as follows: the study of stages of the history of international criminal law will make prediction of its future trends possible.

Stages of Formation and Development of Interstate Extradition Law

Two directions played an important role in formation of international criminal law: interstate extradition law and international military law.

Extradition is the oldest form of mutual aid among states in the fight against crime, which relates to the field of international criminal law. Four periods in the history of extradition law are:

  1. The period from ancient times to the end of the XVII century characterized by implementation of extradition of only political opponents and heretics.
  2. The period from the beginning of the XVIII to the middle of the XIX century. The number of extradition agreements regarding not only to the rebels, military deserters and fugitives, but also perpetrators of ordinary crimes significantly increases.
  3. The period from 1833 to 1948 years. States began a concerted campaign against fugitive criminals who have committed acts that have no political objectives (acts, punishable with ordinary criminal law).
  4. The period beginning from 1948 to the present time. The necessity to build a system of international security and a system of prevention of crimes against the peace and security of mankind has become urgent. A deepening of protection of human rights has become determining on in the extradition process (Cakmak, 2006).

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From biblical times crime entailed requirement for extradition and retaliation, denial to satisfy the revenge could be a casus belli. So, the Israelis demanded extradition of Giza residents who after the rape and murder of women from Israel, took refuge within the knee of Benjamin. In the ancient eras states entered into a treaty of mutual assistance about suppression of slave revolts and the extradition of fugitives. The example of such treaty is the famous treaty of alliance of the Egyptian pharaoh Ramses II and the Hittite king Hettushil III (Cakmak, 2006).

During the kingdom of the first king Romulus Romans kidnapped the women from the tribe of the Sabines. The Sabines sent to the Rome ambassadors who demanded en extradition of women and the kidnappers.

The crime against foreign ambassadors who are under protection of gods could be considered crime with serious guilty. When they were under extradition, it was specifically stipulated that they were given for execution (ad supplicium). So, two Romans (Lucius Minucius and Lucius Manlius) were given to Carthage (Cakmak, 2006).

In the Middle Ages the international custom of immunity granting to diplomats was formed (Cakmak, 2006).

Finally, the French decree of 19 February 1791 was used the term "extradition" firstly.

Stages of Formation and Development of International Military Law

Laws and customs of war were designed to eliminate the most brutal ways and means of warfare and to protect the civil population, and in the case of its violation to bring the perpetrators to justice. The history of international military law includes three main periods:

  1. The period of the ancient world and the early Middle Ages. At this time the initial classification and codification of doctrinal positions jus ad bellum (the right of the fair war) and jus in bello (the laws of war) emerged.
  2. The period of the late Middle Ages. The codification of us contra bellum (the anti-war right, or right to prevent war) and jus post bellum (the right to post-war or post-conflict) was started. During this period the trend towards humanization of the means and methods of warfare and doctrinal development of the principles of international humanitarian law emerged.
  3. Current time. Formation and development of "Hague" and "Geneva " law, codification of international law of armed conflict and the separation of the institute responsible for the use of prohibited means and methods of warfare was started (Galbraith, 2009).

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The ancient Babylonian Code of Hammurabi in 1750 BC contained articles, defined the rights of prisoners of war and provided responsibility for the military and the actual war crimes. The ancient Greeks were convinced that there were very clear legal rules and moral principles of warfare. Diodorus in his writings described the general rules of war, pointed out requirements not to interrupt the truce, not to kill the herald, and an enemy who surrendered at discretion. Roman Stoics believed that the war cannot be started without a legitimate reason (justa causa). Gradually, two basic prohibition codified international criminal law: 1) certain types of weapons cannot be applied or their use should be limited because of unnecessary suffering (poisons, poisoned and lighted arrows, jagged tips); 2) it is prohibited to engage in fighting with women, children and the elderly ("blind" or "sinful" war) (Galbraith, 2009).

Thus, modern criminal law is the result of an evolutionary development of the basic institutions of criminal law, reflecting significant social, political and economic changes in formation and development of the extradition law and military law. These changes led to the fact that the update of criminal law having global nature started. Since 1990, new criminal codes have been adopted in more than 50 countries around the world. And all the subsequent development was characterized with three new trends: criminalization of criminal activities (history of the military law), humanization of criminal law and internationalization of the latter (history of extradition). Achievement of military criminal law allowed to criminalize new forms of crime. Achievement in the field of extradition helped to humanize and internationalize criminal law. However, at the same time, we can predict 5 future trends, which are derived from three contemporary trends.

Crime Prevention

Criminal justice system as a means of control and restraint in the future will increasingly contribute to maintenance of public order in order to ensure equitable social and economic development, eliminate the phenomena of injustice and human rights protection. In order to harmonize the tasks in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice with national development goals the criminal justice system will make efforts to ensure the necessary human and material resources, including allocation of adequate amount of funding and the maximum use of all relevant institutions and resources of the society, ensuring proper community participation in crime prevention (Stahn, n. d.).


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International criminal system and its developers will study and explore possible types of relations between crime and certain aspects of the development process, such as the structure and population growth, urbanization, industrialization, housing, population, health, education and employment opportunities in order to enhance the ability of quick respond to changes in the socio-economic, cultural and political conditions in the framework of policies in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice. These studies will be conducted on the basis of an interdisciplinary approach and will be aimed for policy development and implementation of practical measures of crime preventing.

Media and Outreach Activities

It will be necessary to carry out an investigation and assessment of the role of media and their influence on various aspects of crime prevention and international criminal justice, as the public understanding of criminal policy and its position are the determining factors for effectiveness and fairness of legal system. A positive contribution of the media in informing the public about crime prevention and criminal justice will be promoted. It will be an important means of learning the norms of society along with a program of civic and legal education. Those crimes associated with development of the media and the public will also be criminalized.

Human Rights, Social Justice and Effective Crime Prevention

It is expected to continue to carry out activities for protection of human rights and social justice. It is also expected to improve efficiency, promote the policy of crime prevention and criminal justice with the use of alternatives to imprisonment. To eliminate the undue delay in fulfillment of justice, it is expected to improve certification of training and application of scientific and technological innovation and practical research, particularly in those cases where it is necessary to maximize the effectiveness of limited financial and human resources.

Modern Technology

New advances in science and technology should be used throughout in the interests of people and, therefore, to the benefit of effective international crime prevention. However, due to the fact that modern technology can contribute to emergence of new forms of crime, it is expected to undertake appropriate measures to avoid the possibility of abuse. Hence, for example, because of the possibility of use of electronic computing systems, the data, which can be used to violate human rights, including the right to privacy, or other abuse; appropriate safeguards to ensure confidentiality, creating a system individual access to such data and corrective action will be provided, as well as the relevant procedures of recovering such data in order to resolve these and other discriminatory issues arising from possible abuse.

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Social Inequality

The scale of globalization and social, political, cultural and economic inequality of many segments of population in some countries, implementation of policies in the field of criminal justice should avoid such disadvantaged position in the possible conditions for use of criminal sanctions. In contrast, an effective policy in the sphere of criminal law will be developed to ease the plight of those disadvantaged people, and to ensure equality, fairness and justice in processes such as law enforcement, prosecution, conviction and treatment of persons in order to avoid discrimination, based on socio-economic, cultural, ethnic, national or political motives, on the differences based on gender or financial situation. Achievement of true social justice in the distribution of material and spiritual wealth of all members of society, elimination of all forms of exploitation and social and economic inequality and oppression, as well as a real guarantee of fundamental human rights and freedoms are the key to success the fight against crime and its complete eradication (Stahn, n. d.).

Development of interstate extradition law and the development of international military law identified three current trends of international criminal law, criminalization of new types of crime, internationalization and humanization of criminal law. In turn, it made possible to predict the five trends in the development of criminal law in the future. Thus, the study of historical stages of international criminal law has made possible to predict its future trends, which confirmed our thesis

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