Since their establishment in 20th century, the international criminal courts as fundamental and necessary tool to the process of rebuilding peace in post-conflict contexts gained followers among literature and institutions. Through impartiality in the identification of guilt and in the distribution of sanctions, the international criminal tribunals would be able to quell fragmentation and hostility, in order to discourage the commission of further crimes and thus to lay the foundations for a peaceful coexistence between not only people, but also nations. As set out by Art. 1, para. 2 of the United Nations (UN) Draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind (1996), “crimes against the peace and security of mankind are crimes under international law and punishable as such, whether or not they are punishable under national law“. Bearing in mind the relevance of criminal prosecution on the global chessboard, it is not a case whatsoever that in the same years the UN Security Council came eventually to the creation of international criminal courts, qualified as a contributors to the restoration of peace. In particular, with Resolutions 827 (1993) and 995 (1994), instituting the courts for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, their establishment ushered in a new season and action of the Council. Accordingly, the Security Council’s tasks are, in a complex way, intertwined with how specifically the International Criminal Court works, as the latter is called upon to prosecute the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and aggression. The existence of a threat to the peace, violation of the peace or an act of aggression presupposes the intervention of the United Nations Security Council, even more so welding together the fighting against impunity and the restoring and maintaining international peace and security, possibly setting a common goal for the international community as a whole.
On the other hand, Europe does recognize that security and crime can be strongly intertwined. For instance the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, both working for stability, peace and democracy, through political dialogue about shared values and through practical work of conventions (for example, theBudapest Convention of 2001) that contribute to tackle crime in order to achieve the ultimate goal of security. To the same conclusion came the European Union (EU). The EU clearly stated in the European Union Serious and Organised Crime Threat Assessment 2017 and, later, in the Extraordinary meeting of the Justice and Home Affairs Council of 28 March 2022 (addressing the Ukrainian conflict) that conflicts create opportunities for organized crime to flourish and amplify the threat posed by criminal groups to internal security. Crimes in conflict situations can include: human trafficking, online fraud, cyber-attacks, misappropriation of funds intended to support refugees, arms trafficking. Conversely, organized crime provides for an instability that would likely create situation of armed conflict on its own, therefore the Organization promotes policies of harmonisation to fight against organised crime while, at the same time, pushes the States to renovate themselves in how to oppose such phenomenon.
Hence, IECLO is interested in bringing forward any research and study on security as an actual objective of international and European criminal justice. By keeping track of the international criminal justice system, the Observatory will foster dialogue through a punctual analysis of the phenomenon and how will affect global peace and security.