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Chapter Summary

In the age of enlightenment, European political thought and legal philosophy changed. As a result, the principles nullum crimen sine lege and nulla poena sine lege have become, since the late 1800s, fundamental principles of criminal law in the world's major criminal justice systems. To find the doctrinal foundations of something, it is necessary to determine precisely what that something is. Thus, to determine the doctrinal foundations of international criminalization, it is necessary to begin by looking at precisely what international criminal law is, and what it contains. This, however, is not an easy task. Most international crimes first developed in customary international law and were thereafter embodied in conventional international law. What we now generically call "war crimes" were first in gaining cross-national recognition, but it was piracy that was recognized in the 1600s by a number of maritime states.

Keywords: criminal justice systems; customary international law; international crimes; International criminal law



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