The Limits of the Law: Sentencing Perpetrators of Atrocious Crime

By Ashleigh Shaheen

International prosecution is increasingly recognized as an imperative process for dealing with atrocious crimes. Yet there can seemingly be no adequate punishment for such horrific acts. For crimes that "explode the limits of the law," it thus becomes equally imperative that a guide exists to temper judicial discretion and to focus punishment in a way that will ultimately contribute to sustainable peace and justice. This book examines the sentencing practices of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, comparing their normative guidelines and jurisprudence to answer the following questions: 1) Is there enough consistency in sentencing to substantiate the emergence of a guideline through jurisprudence? 2) What elements should contribute to the structure of a universal sentencing guideline? 3) What penological goals should be met through sentencing? The answers to these questions are discussed in the context of an emerging criminology specific to international criminal law, taking into account the difference in the mentality of perpetrators at the level of planning versus the level of commission of the crimes. The goals of punishment are discussed at both levels, evaluating their effectiveness in aiding the justice process for mass atrocities. Sentencing procedures are also evaluated against the core mandate of the tribunal, as well as against the recognized purposes of punishment. The book examines the normative standards and jurisprudence in the ad hoc tribunals and the International Criminal Court, comparatively analyzing factors that influence the length of a sentence.

64 pages

Publication Date: 12/28/2011
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9789058507273