Internationalized criminal tribunals (also known as hybrid or mixed criminal tribunals) have been established, since the end of the twentieth century, by the United Nations with the significative involvement of local authorities of the concerned State, in order to prosecute suspects of international and ordinary crimes. Designed to address the weaknesses of both international and domestic criminal courts, they share some common features with both of them. Unlike the proper international jurisdictions, internationalized tribunals include judges and prosecutors from the affected regions and apply a mix of domestic laws and of international law, as amended to reflect international human rights and criminal law standards. Unlike pure domestic courts, they include foreign judges and prosecutors and apply international laws and standards regardless of the constitutional structure of the country concerned.
Despite these important common features, the question if internationalized criminal courts can be regarded as a genus on their own is controversial. The book deals with the characterization of internationalized tribunals, through the analysis of their basic features, such as their legal and jurisdictional foundations, competence, applicable law. The research is carried out also through the analysis of the relevant practice, with the goal to determine how the formal classification of these tribunals affects other issues (such as the application of amnesties and immunities, the relationship with other national or international court, the application of rules and principles of international ¿criminal ¿ law).
The controversial nature of internationalized criminal tribunals, together with the quite restricted relevance of their formal characterization to the end of application of international law rules, leads to consider the adoption of a different approach, by taking into account also the function performed by the courts. The courts addressed by the book represent just few out of the myriad of possible responses set up in the wake of mass atrocities, each best suited to a specific situation. Just for this reason, as the book argues, in the long term mixed or internationalized criminal courts, may prove to be one of the most effective devices to prosecute international crimes.