San Diego International Law Journal

Library of Congress Authority File


Document Type



This Article argues that given the unique and significant contribution of journalists to uncovering and documenting war crimes, the ICC should amend its evidentiary rules to recognize a qualified journalist's privilege. In doing so, the ICC should clearly identify who may benefit from such a privilege, clarify a procedure for balancing the need of reportorial testimony against prosecution and defense interests, and, lastly provide for mandatory consultations between the court and affected news organizations or journalists before allowing the issuance of a subpoena. Such clarity will benefit not only journalists working in war zones and the ICC, but will provide guidance for future ad hoc international tribunals. Part II of this paper will examine the role of journalists in war zones, discuss the Brdjanin case, and consider the challenges of codifying a qualified privilege for reporters working in conflict areas. Part II will analyze the difficulties of defining a journalist. Part IV will examine the municipal and international law bases for recognizing a journalists privilege and the effects of conflicting legal interests on such a privilege. As a comparison to journalist's privilege, it will consider codified confidential communications (such as doctor-patient and priest-penitent) and officials and members of the ICRC. Part V will address the moral setting of a war crimes tribunal. Part VI will conclude with a proposed procedural rule for adoption by the ICC.