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A Modern Perspective On International Criminal Law: Accountability As A Meta-Right

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Chapter Summary

This chapter is an attempt to identify the various parameters that are needed in order to make sense of M. Cherif Bassiouni?s interpretation of the right to accountability as a derivative meta-right, that is, a right that follows from the existing body of legally binding norms and that, at the same time, manifests itself as an aspiration and a requirement that adds an extra-systematic and normative content to international criminal law. As accountability originates, in the final analysis, in the idea of an implied social contract, it can be said to crisscross the traditional distinction, if not dichotomy, between legal positivism and natural law theory. As a metaright, accountability combines natural law theory and legal positivism in the sense that accountability covers both the moral and legal aspects, which crisscross the distinction between rights recognition and rights protection.

Keywords: accountability; international criminal law; legally binding norms; M. Cherif Bassiouni; meta-right; natural law theory; rights protection; rights recognition; social contract



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