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The No Impunity Policy in International Criminal Law: Justice versus Revenge

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In this article, the author examines the issue of justice versus revenge in the context of jus cogens crimes and fundamental moral and legal principles. Her objective is to provide a critical appraisal of M. Cherif Bassiouni's theory of punishment in the light of his general jurisprudence. The main question is whether there is a consistency problem. On the one hand, Bassiouni draws a distinction between justice and revenge. On the other hand, the distinction is not a dichotomy. This is to say that Bassiouni does not dogmatically prohibit revenge as a punitive measure in circumstances where jus cogens crimes have been committed and where there is no effective, independent and impartial judiciary, which can secure justice in terms of strict and legal accountability. Outlining the various premises for Bassiouni's so-called Mixed Model, the author shows that conclusions pertaining to consistency should not be interpreted simplistically.

Affiliations: 1: Assistant Professor, General and Applied Ethics, Indiana University NW, Gary, IN, USA


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