Transnational Networks and International Criminal Justice
The theory of transgovernmental networks describes how government officials make law and policy on issues of global concern by coordinating informally across borders, without legal or official sanction. Scholars have argued that this sort of coordination is useful in many different areas of cross-border regulation, including banking, antitrust, environmental protection, and securities law. One area to which the theory has not yet been applied is international criminal law. For a number of reasons, until recently, international criminal law had not generated the same transgovernmental networks that have emerged in other fields. With few exceptions, international criminal law had been enforced at either the purely domestic or the international level. That picture appears to be changing. Investigators, prosecutors, and judges dealing with international crimes are beginning to collaborate, both with their peers across borders and with their counterparts at international criminal tribunals. This Article describes and evaluates these developments and provides a conceptual defense of why networks could be useful in international criminal law. It then suggests what future forms this sort of cooperation might take and draws implications from the emergence of international criminal law networks for the study of networks more generally.