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Law Courses Catalog

International Criminal Law

This seminar analyzes contemporary international criminal law. The history, development, and philosophy of international criminal justice, from the Nuremberg and Tokyo Tribunals to modern international criminal prosecutions, will be covered. Considerable attention will be paid to the jurisprudence and practice of international criminal tribunals, from the ad hoc and hybrid tribunals to the permanent International Criminal Court (ICC), regarding war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and aggression. The course will examine how international criminal law interacts with national jurisdictions (sometimes referred to as transnational criminal law) over core crimes and treaty-based crimes like torture and terrorism. Alternative means of addressing international crimes (often referred to as transitional justice) such as Truth and Reconciliation Commissions, gacaca trials in Rwanda, immunitites, and other local justice mechanisms will be analyzed. Finally, the course will cover theories of liability, defenses, and sentencing for international crimes.

Evaluation is based on a research paper, satisfying either the Capstone writing requirement or no formal writing requirement. The final paper is to be submitted by the last day of the reading period on a topic in international criminal law chosen by the student and subject to instructor approval. Students’ brief class presentations will be on their respective research papers.

Note: Only a few will be allowed to do the Capstone. How these few will be chosen will be discussed the first day of class.