Practice Relating to Rule 161. International Cooperation in Criminal Proceedings
Section E. Cooperation with international criminal tribunals
Israel’s Manual on the Laws of War (1998) recalls the experiences of the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials, stating: “The central importance of the Nuremberg Trials … is in creating a precedent for the execution of judgment against war criminals by the whole of humanity, without leaving the work to prejudiced internal courts.”
The manual also mentions the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Referring to the International Criminal Court, it states:
One of the biggest difficulties faced by the Hague court for judging Yugoslavia’s war criminals is the extradition of war criminals. The permanent court has been empowered to demand extradition of war criminals into its hands, so that such criminals will not find a haven …
Israel is in a dilemma regarding the Rome Constitution. On the one hand, in light of the Holocaust experience, Israel has a special interest in seeing war criminals brought to justice. On the other hand, there is a fear that the court will serve as a lever for demanding the extradition and trial of IDF [Israel Defense Force] soldiers.
Upon signature of the 1998 ICC Statute, Israel stated:
Being an active consistent supporter of the concept of an International Criminal Court, and its realization in the form of the [1998 ICC] Statute, the Government of the State of Israel is proud to thus express its acknowledgment of the importance, and indeed indispensability, of an effective court for the enforcement of the rule of law and the prevention of impunity.