Document Type : Article


Assistant Prof., Department of Law, Faculty of Social Sciences, Imam Khomeini International University, Qazvin, Iran



While the origin of Covid-19 is a controversial issue, there is no doubt that accountability for its outbreak requires incorporation of environmental aspects to international crimes. This paper aims to establish the relationship between the Covid-19 pandemic and international criminal justice by analyzing the content of international instruments and legal authorities. It will be argued that pandemics are related to violations of fundamental human rights and systematic poverty and that international criminal justice must address the underlying factors of the pandemic, although it presently lacks the ability to achieve this important goal. Regarding the impact of Covid-19 on the process of transitional justice for victims of international crimes and violations of human-rights and humanitarian law, it will be observed that the efforts of the relevant governments are somewhat shaky and the implementation process has been slow and constrained. In order to achieve criminal justice as regards Covid-19, the intervention of the International Criminal Court is worth considering, as the court's efforts to fulfill its mission of combating the impunity of international crimes are becoming increasingly conspicuous.


  1. English

    1. A) Articles
    2. Abtahi, Hirad (2020), “The International Criminal Court during the COVID-19 Pandemic”, Journal of International Criminal Justice 18, pp. 1069–1076.
    3. Balasco, L.M. (2017),“Reparative Development: Re-conceptualising Reparations in Transitional Justice Processes”, Conflict, Security and Development 17 , pp. 1–20
    4. Bowleg, Lisa Bowleg (2020), ‘we’re Not All in This Together: On COVID-19, Intersectionality and Structural Inequality’, American Journal of Public Health 110, pp. 917-918.
    5. Bradley, M. (2017), “More than Misfortune: Recognizing Natural Disasters as a Concern for Transitional Justice”, International Journal of Transitional Justice, 11, pp. 400–420.
    6. Clark, Janine Natalya (2020), “The COVID-19 Pandemic and Ecological Connectivity Implications for International Criminal Law and Transitional Justice”, Journal of International Criminal Justice 18, 1045–1068
    7. Hayman, D T S; Bowen, R A; Cryan, P M; McCracken, G F; O'Shea, T J; Peel, A J; Gilbert, A; Webb, C T; Wood, J L N (2020), “Ecology of Zoonotic Infectious Diseases in Bats: Current Knowledge and Future Directions”, 60 Zoonoses and Public Health 60 (1), pp. 2–21.
    8. Karesh W.B. and E. Noble (2009), “The Bushmeat Trade: Increased Opportunities for Transmission of Zoonotic Disease”, Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine: A Journal of Translational and Personalized Medicine 76, pp. 429–434.
    9. Stewart, J.G. (2016), ‘the UN Commission of Inquiry on Lebanon: A Legal Appraisal’, Journal of International Criminal Justice 5, pp. 1039–1059.
    10. Wang, C. (2020),”To Cope with a New Coronavirus Pandemic: How Life May Be Changed Forever”, Chinese Journal of International Law 19, pp. 221–228
    11. Weinstein, T. (2005), “Prosecuting Attacks that Destroy the Environment: Environmental Crimes or Humanitarian Atrocities”, Georgetown International Environmental Law Review 17, pp. 697– 722.


    1. B) Documents
    2. African Union, Policy Paper: COVID-19, Transitional Justice and Victims’ Experiences in Africa, June 2020.
    3. Covid-19 symposium: Human Rights in the time of covid-19 front and center, in: Covid-19 and international law, opinion juris symposium, p. 126 at: (visited 10 February 2022).
    4. Framework for the Management of Staff Members in United Nations Common System Headquarters and Field Duty Stations, ‘Administrative Guidelines for Offices on the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic’, CEB Human Resources Network, version 3.0, 21 March 2020, available online at guidelines_for_ offices_on_the_novel_coronavirus_covid-19_outbreak_ version_4.0 _ra_e.pdf (visited 10 February 2022).
    5. Guariglia, F., ‘COVID-19 Symposium: COVID-19 and International Criminal Law’, April 2020, available online at (visited 10 February 2022).
    6. Guidelines for the Judiciary concerning the holding of Court hearings during the COVID-19 pandemic (‘Guidelines’), 23 June 2020, available online at aspx? name¼200623-guidelines-for-court-proceedings-covid-19 (visited 10 February 2022).
    7. Policy concerning the physical reopening of the Court’s Buildings and the related terms of access and use in connection with the COVID-19 Pandemic, ICC/PRESD/G/2020/001, 5 June 2020, available online at (visited 10 February 2022).
    8. Proposed Programme Budget for 2021 of the International Criminal Court, ICC-ASP/19/10/AV, 7 August 2020, available online at 10-ENG-PPB-2021-07Aug10-1550.pdf (visited 10 February 2022).
    9. The African Union, Policy Paper: COVID-19, Transitional Justice and Victims’ Experiences in Africa, June 2020.
    10. The African Union, Transitional Justice Policy (AUTJP), Adopted February 2019.
    11. UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner (OHCHR), ‘COVID-19: ‘‘No Excuse for Impunity for Those Convicted of Crimes against Humanity’’ – UN Expert on Transitional Justice’, April 2020, available online at¼ 25840&LangID¼E (visited 10 February 2022).
    12. UNEP, ‘Six Nature Facts Related to Coronaviruses’, April 2020, available online at https:// 10 February 2022)


    Refrences In Persian:

    1. Abbasi, Mahmoud Fallah, Mohammad Reza & Golkar, Meysam (2021), “Coronavirus Pandemic; From Human Rights Considerations to Citizenship Requirements”, Medical Law Journal, Vol.14, No.55, pp. 9-22 (In Persian).
    2. Beigzadeh, Ebrahim; Ghari Seyed Fatemi, Seid Mohammad; Mahmodi, Seyed Hadi; Latifian, Mohammadhossein (2020), “Corona’s dilemma in the mirror of international law”, Legal Search Quarterly, Vol. 23, LAW and COVID- 19, pp. 11-57 (In Persian).
    3. Farzanfard, Ali & Afshari, Maryam (2020), “Legal explain the international responsibility of governments in confrontation with corona virus”, Judicial Law 27, pp. 113-130 (In Persian).
    4. Hekmatnia, Mohamudd (2020), “Ethical, jurisprudential and legal principles of the model of national exposure to infectious diseases”, Islamic Law, Vol. 17, Issue 64, pp. 7-50 (In Persian).
    5. Karimi, Siamak (2020), “The Obligation of the State of Origin and Other States to Prevent of Corona’s (Covid-19) Transboundary Damages”, Public Law Research 67, pp. 83-111 (In Persian).
    6. Mahdizadeh, mansoureh (2020), “Investigattion the Dimensions and some of the social Consequences of Crisis Outbreaks of Coronavirus in the Community as a Global Risk”, the Journal of Popularization of science, Vol. 11, pp. 19-44 (In Persian).

    7.Mahra, Nasrin (2020), “State's responsibility to compensate the victims of Corona Virus”, Legal Research Quarterly: LAW and COVID- 19, pp. 143-161 (In Persian).

    1. Mehregan, Amirhossein (2017), “Transitional justice: Urgencies and challenges”, the international studies journal, Vol. 14, Issue 1, pp. 47-58 (In Persian).
    2. Pouralkhas NoKandehei1 , M.; Pouralkhas NoKandehei, Mohmad; Amanjahani, Vida; Mostafazadeh, Raoof; Hazbavi, Zeinab (2021), “Effects of COVID-19 Pandemic on the Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture”, Extension and Development of Watershed Management, Vol. 9, No. 32, pp. 67-77 (In Persian).
    3. Qureishi, Seyed Najmuddin; Kadkhodaee, Abbasali; Babaei, Mojtaba; Sohanian, Fatemeh (2018), “Coming on the concept of transitional justice in the field of international law and the role of human and moral dignity in its development”, Ethical Research, Issue32 Vol.8, pp. 131-150 (In Persian).
    4. Shams, Erfan (2020), “Covid-19 Crisis and Environmental Law: Opportunities and Challenges”, Public Law Research, Vol. 22, Issue 67, pp. 193-218 (In Persian).