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An International Conscience Collective? A Durkheimian Analysis of International Criminal Law

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image of International Criminal Law Review

This socio-legal approach to international criminal law is informed by the writings of Émile Durkheim, one of the founding fathers of (legal) sociology. On the basis of a comprehensive review of primary sources and recent developments in secondary writings, Durkheim's understanding of criminal law and its sanctioning process are reconstructed. From this perspective the international criminal justice system is analysed both directly and indirectly. The first is a sociological interpretation that perceives international criminal law as being rooted in the cult of the individual. The second brings a clarification of the function international criminal tribunals perform and concludes that this cannot be adequately appraised with regard to effects on individuals or nation-states but only with regard to an emerging global society. This highly original investigation is a demonstration of the enduring relevance of Durkheim's oeuvre and a contribution to the developing diversification of theoretical perspectives on international criminal law.

Affiliations: 1: Freie Universität Berlin and analyses in his dissertation the effects of the international criminal justice system


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