International Criminal Law
This course will provide an introduction to international criminal law and procedure as administered by international criminal tribunals. It will combine a black-letter approach to some of the most important tribunal case law with theoretical, historical, and policy-oriented readings addressing the role of the tribunals in achieving the objectives of transitional justice.
The course will begin with a historical overview and analysis of the goals, jurisdictional bases, and structures of the various international criminal tribunals, from Nuremberg and Tokyo to the permanent International Criminal Court. Next, the largest portion of the course will focus on substantive international criminal law: the elements of international crimes (including war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and the crime of aggression), theories of individual liability for collective crimes (such as joint criminal enterprise and command responsibility), and defenses like duress and superior orders. Third, the course will explore some key procedural challenges, such as international tribunals? dependency on states for arrests and investigation, the clash between adversarial and inquisitorial legal cultures in areas such as plea bargaining, and problems related to the length, complexity, and cost of international trials. Finally, students will assess the effectiveness of the tribunals in contributing to retributive justice, deterrence, peace and reconciliation, victims? well-being, and the rule of law, and will consider questions about the future of international criminal justice, including strategic dilemmas facing the International Criminal Court as it gets off the ground.
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