1st Edition

Fairness and the Goals of International Criminal Trials Finding a Balance

By Caleb H Wheeler Copyright 2023

    This book presents a ground-breaking, interdisciplinary study into the various goals assigned to international criminal trials. It starts from the proposition that no hierarchy exists amongst the different goals meaning that trials should strive to achieve all of them in equal measure. This is made difficult by the fact that not all of these goals are compatible and the fulfilment of one may lead to others going unmet. Therefore, a balance must be found if the goals of trial are to be achieved at all. The book posits that fairness should serve as the guiding principle when weighing the different trial goals against one another. It is argued that without fairness international and internationalised criminal courts and tribunals lack legitimacy and without legitimacy they lack effectiveness. The book concludes that international criminal trials must adopt procedures that emphasise fairness to all of the parties and trial participants if they wish to accomplish any of the goals set for them. Each chapter is devoted to identifying and explaining a different trial goal, providing analysis of how that particular goal functions in conjunction with the other goals, and discussing the ways in which a fairness-oriented trial model will help achieve those goals. The book provides a dynamic understanding of the different trial goals and the importance of fairness in the trial process by drawing on research from a variety of different legal disciplines while also incorporating scholarship rooted in criminology, political theory, international relations, and psychology. The book will be essential reading for researchers, academics and professionals working in the areas of International Criminal Law, Public International Law and Transitional Justice.


    1 Introduction

    2 The Role Fairness Plays in Legal Accountability

    3 International Criminal Trials and Promoting the Rule of Law

    4 International Criminal Trials and the Search for Truth

    5 Peace, Justice and International Criminal Trials

    6 How International Criminal Trials Can Encourage Reconciliation

    7 Justice for Victims of Atrocity Crimes 1

    8 Conclusion



    Caleb H Wheeler is a lecturer in law at Cardiff University, UK. He has written extensively on international criminal courts and tribunals, international criminal trials and the rights of trial participants. This is his second book.