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Book description

This is the authoritative introduction to the International Criminal Court, fully updated in this sixth edition. The book covers the legal framework of the Court, the cases that it has heard and that are still to come, and the political debates surrounding its operation. It is written by one of the major authorities on the subject, in language accessible to non-specialists. The sixth edition brings legal references fully up to date in light of the Court's case law. Several trials have now been completed, with four convictions and a number of controversial acquittals. The book also discusses the situations that the Court is currently investigating, including Palestine, Georgia, Ukraine, Venezuela and the UK in Iraq. It also looks into the crisis with African states and the hostility of the United States to the institution.


'Professor Schabas' new edition of his introduction to the International Criminal Court provides an exceptionally clear and comprehensive view of this newly created court. Designed to be easily accessible to readers who are not specialists in the area, this volume reviews the historical development of international criminal justice, proceeds to a critical analysis of the conduct of the Court and its prosecutors since its creation, and gives a lively description of the political environment in which the Court operates, notably the challenges coming from the United States and Africa. Very clearly structured, the book not only contains a wealth of very interesting information but is a highly enjoyable read.'

Philippe Kirsch - First President of the International Criminal Court

'There are few scholars who know the ICC as well as professor Bill Schabas, probably the most prolific author on the subject. This book is an important tool guiding both academics and practitioners through the labyrinth of 20 years of ICC jurisprudence. Written by a scholar with an extensive knowledge and oversight, this book is a precious must have for all those interested in and concerned about this great but vulnerable institution.'

Christine Van den Wyngaert - judge at the KSC, former judge at the ICC and the ICTY

'Professor William Schabas, a world-renowned legal scholar, has once again fortified An Introduction to the International Criminal Court with a sixth edition that brings the reader through early 2019 on the origins and evolution of the court and its practice and jurisprudence. There simply is no better gateway - for students, instructors, journalists, and practitioners - to understanding the International Criminal Court. Schabas has brilliantly scaled yet another mountain in his distinguished career.'

Ambassador David Scheffer - Mayer Brown/Robert A. Helman Professor of Law, Northwestern University

'This is a superb comprehensive introduction to the law and practice of the International Criminal Court and since its first edition an authoritative point of reference for anyone teaching and studying international criminal law. Every aspect of the functioning and jurisprudence of the Court is presented by addressing at the same time the key issues and controversies they have sparked in academic debates and diplomatic fora. Very enjoyably written, Schabas’s views are added to enliven discussion and to assist the reader to develop a better understanding of the merits and flaws of a unique and sui generis international institution, whose creation is an historic step in the fight against impunity.'

Paula Gaeta - Professor of International Law, The Graduate Institute, Geneva

'This updated, new edition of William Schabas' Introduction to the International Criminal Court is a must for everyone interested in international criminal law and international law in general. This book is essential to both non-specialists and scholars.'

Juan Manuel Portilla - Professor of International Law, National University of Mexico

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