International Criminal Law (LAWS6219)


In the past twenty years international criminal justice has had a resurgence as a key way to address war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. Since the early 1990s the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) have prosecuted a number of high level perpetrators of international crimes. These courts paved the way for the multilateral treaty establishing the permanent International Criminal Court in 1998. More recently, hybrid or internationalised criminal courts like the Special Court for Sierra Leone, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon have dealt with crimes of international concern. This unit will examine how these institutions use the rule of law to help stop the cycle of impunity for perpetrators of mass atrocities. Using cases before the international courts and tribunals, the course will examine both substantive and procedural international criminal law. The elements of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity (including crimes of sexual and gender violence) and terrorism, modes of liability and defences will be covered, as will international criminal procedures from the investigation through to the pre-trial, trial, sentencing and appeal stages. Students will gain an overall understanding of international criminal law, as well as exposure to some of the interesting issues confronting the international criminal courts and tribunals today.

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Jul 3 (4-7), 4 (4-8), 5 (10-2) & 7 (4-7), 10 (4-7), 11 (4-8) & 12 (10-3)


class participation (10%), take-home exam on hypothetical and practical question-solving (40%) (exam released 14 July and answers due 21 July), 4000wd essay (50%) (due 22 August)

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