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Depoliticizing Individual Criminal Responsibility

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Chapter Summary

This chapter reviews the Cherif Bassiouni?s historic legacy of promoting depoliticization of international criminal responsibility and human rights. It then reviews the basic tenets and terminology of both the politicization analysis developed by author and legalization analysis developed independently by other scholars. It explores both the relationship and distinction between them and their joint applicability to understanding issues of politicization and principle in international law and institutions. The chapter concludes that an untenable situation results when politicization prevails over fundamental international principle. This is especially troubling when apparent violations of jus cogens norms such as prohibition of genocide are at issue, and effective prosecution is stymied by national political opposition to a stronger, more legalized regime of international criminal law. Under such circumstances it is both necessary and appropriate to act, as Cherif Bassiouni has done, to help depoliticize the situation by building political will to act according to principle.

Keywords: Cherif Bassiouni; depoliticization; human rights; international criminal law; international criminal responsibility; jus cogens norms



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