Domestic Prosecution of International Crimes in Tanzania: The State of the Law

Nicksoni Filbert Kahimba, Cecilia Edward Ngaiza, Boaz John Mabula


This article examines Tanzania’s ability to domestically
prosecute international crimes following its ratification of
the Rome Statute. The Article also analyses the possibility
of relying on the provisions of customary international law
to prosecute these crimes in the absence of
domestication of the Rome Statute. The article probes
into the reasons for the non-domestication of the Statute,
highlights the strengths and weaknesses of the current
legal framework to prosecute international crimes, and
proffers a set of recommendations for the identified legal
flaws. It finds that although Tanzania is a State Party to
the Rome Statute, it has not yet domesticated the Statute.
Despite the absence of a direct legal obligation to
domesticate or nationally incorporate the provisions of the
Rome Statute, the articles states that it is fundamental
that Tanzania indicates its ability and willingness to prosecute international crimes within its domestic legal
framework. While there are two approaches to
prosecuting crimes of the Statute at the national level, this
article has discussed the effectiveness of Tanzania’s legal
framework to prosecute those crimes through the ordinary
crimes approach. It contends that while some of the core
crimes can be prosecuted domestically and through
customary international law, the current domestic legal
framework in Tanzania is incapable of prosecuting the
Statute’s core crimes effectively in the absence of
domestication or adoption of serious legal amendments in
the relevant domestic legislation.

Key words: Customary International Law - International Crimes -
International Crimes Approach - Ordinary Crimes
Approach - Penal Code - Rome Statute

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