Reflections on the Criminalization of Use of Chemical Weapons and ICC’s Jurisdiction Ratione Temporis on this Crime in the light of the Iraq - Iran War

Document Type : Original Article


1 Law Department, Najaf Abad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Najaf Abad, Iran

2 Associate Professor of Law and Political Science Faculty, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran, Iran


Today, the rule of law is one of the most significant subjects in international law. The rule of law for the organizations such as international criminal court both possesses internal dimension, namely they must be under an obligation to respect their constitutive statute and other rules of international law and external dimension, namely their impact on the other institutions such as states, international organizations and human beings to respect international law. Based on the internal dimension of the rule of law this essay considers ICC’s jurisdiction on employing chemical weapons in international and non-international conflicts, due regard to Iraq war against Iran.
Although, ICC has the jurisdiction to prosecute employment of poisoned weapons and asphyxiating gases, there are some opinions on the non-criminalizing to employ chemical weapons in the statute in which it makes haste analogy in the criminal law. Additionally, there is an opinion that ICC can exercise its jurisdiction on some conducts which were crimes before the entry into force of the Statute and now those crimes have also been criminalized in the Statute. Nonetheless, it can be said for realization of this issue, ICC faces with some obstacles such as Jurisdiction Ratione Temporis, non-membership of Iran and Iraq in the Statute, obligation to observe Statute’s regulations, for example article 10 and the rule of non-retroactivity Ratione Personae and these are principles in which ICC is obliged to apply in direction of the rule of law.


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