Critical Approaches to International Criminal Law: An Introduction, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Critical Approaches to International Criminal Law

An Introduction, 1st Edition

Edited by Christine Schwöbel


290 pages

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Drawing on the critical legal tradition, the collection of international scholars gathered in this volume analyse the complicities and limitations of International Criminal Law. This area of law has recently experienced a significant surge in scholarship and public debate; individual criminal accountability is now firmly entrenched in both international law and the international consciousness as a necessary mechanism of responsibility. Critical Approaches to International Criminal Law: An Introduction shifts the debate towards that which has so far been missing from the mainstream discussion: the possible injustices, exclusions, and biases of International Criminal Law.

This collection of essays is the first dedicated to the topic of critical approaches to international criminal law. It will be a valuable resource for scholars and students of international criminal law, international law, international legal theory, criminal law, and criminology.


"This is a critical book. Not only is it critical of international criminal law; it is also critical to appreciating the rich diversity that exists in critical approaches to international criminal law. Editor Christine Schwöbel has managed to put together provocative pieces by those who are pushing the boundaries of critical approaches to international criminal law. This book leaves the field with questions that it can no longer ignore." - Dr Sarah Nouwen, Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, University of Cambridge, UK.

"Oliver Wendell Holmes quipped that the life of the law has not been logic but experience. All very well. The life of international criminal law, however, is neither logic nor experience. Its life – its purpose – is one of self-evident progress and providence. In contrast, this brilliant volume lays bare international criminal law’s axioms, shibboleths, conveniences, comforts, omissions, and eschatologies. In so doing, this volume splendidly educates. And, more immediately, it returns the gift of life to the law." - Mark A. Drumbl, Director, Transnational Law Institute, Washington and Lee University, USA.

Table of Contents

Introduction Christine Schwöbel, Part I: Critique as an Agenda, chapter 1 International Criminal Justice: A Critical Research Agenda Frédéric Mégret, chapter 2 Critical Orientations: A Critique of International Criminal Court Practice Sara Kendall, chapter 3 Who are ‘We’ in International Criminal Law? On Critics and Membership Immi Tallgren, chapter 4 Critique, Complicity and I Michelle Farrell, Part II: The Politics of International Criminal Law, chapter 5 Unveiling (and Veiling) Politics in International Criminal Trials Tor Krever, chapter 6 Reading the Political in the Lebanon Tribunal’s Decision on Jurisdiction and Legality Heidi Matthews, Part III: International Criminal Legal Histories Revisited, chapter 7 Linear Law: The History of International Criminal Law Gerry Simpson, chapter 8 Silences in International Criminal Legal Histories and the Construction of the Victim Subject of International Criminal Law: The Nineteenth Century Slave Trading Trial of Joseph Peters Emily Haslam, chapter 9 Making ICL History: On the need to move beyond prefab critiques of ICL Grietje Baars, Part IV: The Visible and the Invisible in International Criminal Law, chapter 10 International Criminal Law and Individualism: An African Perspective Christopher Gevers, chapter 11 An Arresting Event: Assassination within the Purview of International Criminal Law Michelle Burgis-Kasthala, chapter 12 The Market and Marketing Culture of International Criminal Law Christine Schwöbel, Epilogue Bella. A Love Song for War Johannes CS Frank,

About the Editor

Christine Schwöbel is Lecturer in Law at the University of Liverpool. She specializes in international law, particularly the narratives surrounding global constitutionalism, global governance, international criminal law, and international human rights law. Her publications include Global Constitutionalism in International Legal Perspective (Martinus Nijhoff/Brill 2011).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General
LAW / Criminal Law / General
LAW / International
LAW / Jurisprudence