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A Hard Look At The Soft Theory Of International Criminal Law

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Chapter Summary

This chapter sets out to accomplish three goals in the discussion that ensues: 1) identify an incoherence - let?s say a gap - in the international criminal law literature; 2) suggest that this gap accounts in some measure for shortcomings in the output and effectiveness of international criminal justice institutions; and 3) posit new directions to enhance the theory, doctrine, and praxis of these institutions. It argues that the dependent nature of international criminal justice accounts for some of its shortcomings. It then focuses on the difficulties it experiences in attaining its penological goals. The chapter focuses on how does this under-theorizing affect the ability of international criminal justice institutions to attain the goals they - and international criminal law doctrinally - ascribe to punishment? It begins with the two goals, retribution and general deterrence. Finally, it offers a number of modest suggestions for the theory and praxis of international criminal law.

Keywords: general deterrence; international criminal justice institutions; international criminal law; punishment; retribution



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