International criminal law has developed to differing extents in the various countries of the world on account of national-historical and political events. In this process, there is a close, actio-reactio connection between these events, the influence of individuals in a particular country, and the evolution of that country’s international criminal law. The study analyzes Romania's past and present handling of international criminal law.

In­ter­na­tion­al crim­in­al law has de­veloped to dif­fer­ing ex­tents in the vari­ous coun­tries of the world on ac­count of na­tion­al-his­tor­ic­al and polit­ic­al events. In this pro­cess, there is a close, ac­tio-re­ac­tio con­nec­tion between these events, the in­flu­ence of in­di­vidu­als in a par­tic­u­lar coun­try, and the evol­u­tion of that coun­try’s in­ter­na­tion­al crim­in­al law. This is es­pe­cially ap­par­ent in the ex­ample of Ro­mania – doc­u­mented throughout his­tory on the one hand by the works of the in­ter­na­tion­al law ex­pert Ves­pasi­an V. Pella and by the tri­als of Mar­shall Ant­ones­cu and of Elena and Nic­olae Ceau­şes­cu on the oth­er. Against this back­drop, the top­ic of this pro­ject is the is­sue of how in­ter­na­tion­al crim­in­al law and the prob­lem of na­tion­al pro­sec­u­tion of in­ter­na­tion­al crimes, in par­tic­u­lar, was handled in Ro­mania in the past and how it is be­ing handled today. The is­sue is stud­ied from a leg­al-his­tor­ic­al, com­par­at­ive, and in­ter­na­tion­al crim­in­al leg­al per­spect­ive.

The primary goal of this pro­ject is a leg­al-his­tor­ic­al study of wheth­er and when Ro­mania con­trib­uted to the evol­u­tion of in­ter­na­tion­al crim­in­al law. In ad­di­tion, the ques­tion is ad­dressed as to the ex­tent to which Ro­mania has com­plied with its in­ter­na­tion­al ob­lig­a­tions by us­ing its na­tion­al pen­al powers ef­fect­ively to cov­er in­ter­na­tion­al crimes or wheth­er de­fi­cits ex­ist.

Start­ing with a his­tor­ic­al ana­lys­is as a re­search meth­od, this study uses the meth­od of func­tion­al com­par­at­ive crim­in­al law to com­pare ex­ist­ing Ro­mani­an le­gis­la­tion with the Rome Stat­ute. In this pro­cess, those norms and sys­tems de­signed for the pro­sec­u­tion of in­ter­na­tion­al crimes are com­pared with each oth­er.

The study shows that Ro­mania played a sig­ni­fic­ant role in the emer­gence and evol­u­tion of in­ter­na­tion­al crim­in­al law. This is es­pe­cially clear from the ideas and works of the Ro­mani­an in­ter­na­tion­al law ex­pert Ves­pasi­an V. Pella who, as early as 1928, presen­ted the Com­munity of Na­tions a draft of a stat­ute for the es­tab­lish­ment of a per­man­ent in­ter­na­tion­al crim­in­al sen­ate, with­in the then-ex­ist­ing Per­man­ent In­ter­na­tion­al Court of Justice, for pro­sec­ut­ing in­ter­na­tion­al crimes. Dur­ing the com­mun­ist era, the Ro­mani­an crim­in­al code already con­tained crimes against peace and hu­man­ity in the form of pro­vi­sions crim­in­al­iz­ing war pro­pa­ganda, gen­o­cide, in­hu­mane treat­ment, de­struc­tion of cer­tain prop­erty and ac­quis­i­tion of cer­tain goods, as well as the de­struc­tion, plun­der­ing, and ac­quis­i­tion of cul­tur­al goods. This in­ter­na­tion­al crim­in­al law-friendly line of the crim­in­al code was mis­used, however, by the com­mun­ist rulers for their own pur­poses and, con­sequently, was not ap­plied in con­form­ity with in­ter­na­tion­al crim­in­al law. This is ap­par­ent in the tri­al of Elena and Nic­olae Ceau­şes­cu, both of whom were charged with gen­o­cide, where no leg­al dis­cus­sion what­so­ever took place re­gard­ing the in­ter­na­tion­al crime of gen­o­cide. The res­ults of this study show, however, that the ap­plic­a­tion of ex­ist­ing Ro­mani­an crim­in­al law is a vi­able meth­od today for guar­an­tee­ing pro­sec­u­tion of in­ter­na­tion­al crimes. In­deed, some pro­vi­sions of the crim­in­al code – such as the pro­vi­sion crim­in­al­iz­ing "war pro­pa­ganda" – provide even more pro­tec­tion than the Rome Stat­ute. De­fi­cits, however, were found in the area of the core crimes, and ma­jor de­fi­cits were found in the pro­vi­sion crim­in­al­iz­ing "war crimes."

This pro­ject was a doc­tor­al dis­ser­ta­tion su­per­vised by Prof. Dr. Jörg Arnold, Hum­boldt-Uni­versity, Ber­lin.