ICC authorized to impose higher sentences than Colombian law

The Colombian Constitutional Court ruled that the International Criminal Court (ICC) can hand out life in prison sentences to Colombians, even if such a sentence does not exist for the same crime under Colombian law.

Judge Nilson Pinilla Pinilla said that this will not give Colombian courts free reign to impose harsher sentences. The Judge reiterated that the ICC will only prosecute when it feels there has been a failure by Colombian justice system to do so, El Espectador reported Thursday.

The ICC has jurisdiction to hear all cases of crimes against humanity, including forced disappearances, war crimes, forced recruitment for armed groups,disproportionate use of force into the conflict, as well as war crimes committed by state agents.

The ICC’s new jurisdiction in Colombia came into force on November 1.

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