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A Critical Introduction to International Criminal Law
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International criminal law has witnessed a rapid rise after the end of the Cold War. The United Nations refers to the birth of a new 'age of accountability', but certain historical objections, such as selectivity or victor's justice, have never fully gone away, and many of the justice dimensions of international criminal law remain unexplored. Various critiques have emerged in socio-legal scholarship or globalization discourse, revealing that there is a stark discrepancy between reality and expectation. Linking discussion of legal theories, case-law and practice to scholarship and opinion, A Critical Introduction to International Criminal Law explores these critiques through five main themes at the heart of contemporary dilemmas:• The shifting contours of criminality and international crimes• The tension between individual and collective responsibility• The challenges of domestic, international, hybrid and regional justice institutions• The foundations of justice procedures• Approaches towards punishment and reparationSuitable for students, academics and professionals from multiple fields wishing to understand contemporary theories, practices and critiques of international criminal law. This title is also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.


'This book comes as a gift from heaven for those interested in and concerned about international criminal justice at this critical juncture in time.'

Christine Van den Wyngaert - Judge at the Specialist Chambers for Kosovo and formerly judge at the International Court of Justice, International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Court

'Thoughtful, provocative, authoritative, insightful and impeccably referenced, Carsten Stahn’s rich study speaks to a broad spectrum of issues in international criminal justice. This is an invaluable source to which practitioners, scholars, students and judges will turn again and again.'

William Schabas - Middlesex University, London

'This book is monumental in its scope, breathtaking in its depth, stunning in its rigour, and insightful in its tone. Carsten Stahn says it all, and says it all so well.'

Mark A. Drumbl - Class of 1975 Alumni Professor of Law and Director, Transnational Law Institute, Washington and Lee University, Virginia

'Neither excessively pessimistic nor hagiographic, Carsten Stahn’s book paints a realistic portrait of international criminal law’s peril and promise. Its chapters weave effortlessly back and forth between conceptual analysis, doctrinal developments, and international context. Rarely has a book so comprehensively catalogued the bright future of the discipline while also remaining levelheaded about its challenges. Theoreticians and practitioners alike will be delighted, as I am, by Stahn’s spirited excavation of the irresolvable tensions of the field.'

Jens David Ohlin - Vice Dean and Professor of Law, Cornell Law School, New York

'Carsten Stahn has written a remarkably insightful masterpiece probing the depths of international criminal law, which has desperately needed the clarity of argument found in this book. Soaring above a very congested field of scholarship, Stahn presents a pragmatic, worldly, and historically penetrating view of the multitude of issues in the realm of international criminal law. The word that kept coming to me as I read his book is, 'enlightening'. Professionals, students, and academics will only profit by reading its gems of logic and legal scrutiny.'

David Scheffer - Northwestern University, Illinois and US Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues (1997–2001)

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