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Durham University

Durham Law School

Staff profile

Publication details for Dr Annika Jones

Jones, Annika (2016). Insights Into an Emerging Relationship: Use of Human Rights Jurisprudence at the International Criminal Court. Human Rights Law Review 16(4): 701-729.

Author(s) from Durham


This article uses the International Criminal Court’s (ICC’s) first case, Prosecutor v Thomas Lubanaga Dylio, as a lens through which to examine the ICC’s use of regional human rights jurisprudence. Content analysis of 395 judicial decisions has been used to provide an in-depth insight into the use of regional human rights jurisprudence in the early years of the Court’s operation. The analysis reveals frequent reference to, and reliance on, human rights jurisprudence across the Court’s three judicial divisions, throughout all stages of the Court’s proceedings. It also indicates a lack of clarity in the Court’s reasoning as to how reference to regional human rights jurisprudence fits within the ICC’s legal framework and its impact on judicial reasoning. It is argued that while the tendency of the Court’s judges to refer to regional human rights jurisprudence in the Lubanga case is highly beneficial, both for the Court and the development of international law more generally, the ambiguities surrounding the Court’s practice raise several interrelated concerns. Each of these concerns can be addressed through a clearer articulation of the Court’s methodology, which explains the use of regional human rights jurisprudence by reference to the ICC’s rules of applicable law and interpretation.