Rebel courts are often justified by rebels in the interest of securing law and order, states’ perceptions are more negative, especially the territorial state concerned. This raises questions under international humanitarian law, human rights law and international criminal law on the legality of such courts and of fair trial guarantees. In a recent case a court in Sweden ruled on the individual criminal responsibility of a soldier for carrying out sentences issued by a rebel court, a first for any court worldwide. The dilemma of rebel courts reveals opposing interests in international humanitarian law and international criminal law and raises important policy considerations.


Dr Mark Klamberg is a research fellow during 2018/2019 at the Institute of European and Comparative Law (IECL) and affiliated with Christ Church college, Oxford. He is an Associate Professor, Senior lecturer in Public International Law at Stockholm University and a visiting lecturer at Edinburgh University. He has previously been an Associate Professor and Senior lecturer in Public International Law at Uppsala University. He is the author of several publications on international criminal law, surveillance, privacy and other fields of international law, including ‘Evidence in International Criminal Trials: Confronting Legal Gaps and the Reconstruction of Disputed Events’ (Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2013) and ‘Power and Law in the International Society - International Relations as the Sociology of International Law’ (Routledge, 2015). He is the chief editor of the ‘Commentary on the Law of the International Criminal Court’ (TOAEP, 2017). He has also published articles in International Criminal Law Review, Journal of International Criminal Justice, Nordic Journal of International Law, Georgetown Journal of International Law and book sections published by Martinus Nijhoff Publishers and Oxford University Press.