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    The Impact of the Internet on International Criminal Law

    Pulvirenti, Rossella ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5859-7215 (2022) The Impact of the Internet on International Criminal Law. In: Digital Transformations in Public International Law. Beiträge zum ausländischen öffentlichen Recht und Völkerrecht (317). Nomos, pp. 179-204. ISBN 9783756002757 (print); 9783748931638 (online)

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    Abstract

    This chapter discusses how international criminal tribunals and courts (ICTCs) collect, receive and share information through the internet and, thus, how the internet has changed International Criminal Law (ICL). More specifically, it focuses on the flow of information from society to ICTCs and, vice versa, on the data released via the internet by the ICTCs to local communities. Thus, this chapter covers two different aspects of the work of ICTCs. First, this chapter demonstrates that the internet enhances the quality of international criminal prosecutions because of the new low-cost and increasingly accessible technologies available via the internet, social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, crowdsourcing, as well as satellite imagery and other forms of surveillance technologies that might bring about better, cheaper, and safer prosecutions. Indeed, these technologies used to pursue individuals’ retribution and deterrence might, for instance, help to preserve destroyed or threatened cultural heritage for future generations. Also, it gives individuals the power to gain control over the information and evidence that are then forwarded to the ICTCs. Howe­ver, these positive trends are also characterized by some setbacks. For instance, considering the scarce international practice, some doubts on the admissibility and verifiability of this type of evidence exist. Also, the relationship with third parties that store the video footages still remains unchartered territory. Second, the internet has also strengthened the outreach programs of the ICTCs enhancing quality and the quantity of data released via the internet by the ICTCs to local communities. This chapter demonstrates that the failure to engage with the local population had a negative impact on the legitimacy and legacy of the ICTCs. Thus, outreach could benefit from developments in new forms of technology to design innovative and meaningful outreach strategies.

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