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International Criminal Justice


  • Credit value: 15 credits at Level 6
  • Module coordinator: Professor Bill Bowring
  • Assessment: coursework essay of 4000 words (100%).

Module description

This module will examine regional and globalising developments impacting upon criminal justice and its institutions. The combination of lectures, seminars, and role-play will ensure that you engage critically with a range of specific issues concerning the legitimacy and effectiveness of international criminal justice.

Outside speakers from the Redress Trust and other relevant NGOs and experts, as well as practitioners working at The Hague, Cambodia and elsewhere, will ensure that you have a good grasp of the role of practice in the various international judicial and quasi-judicial mechanisms.

At the same time, you will be exposed to, and will debate, the wide variety of critical and contextual scholarly literature.

Learning objectives

On successful completion of this module, a student will be expected to be able to:

  • demonstrate a sound knowledge of the history of the development of international criminal justice, and of the various contemporary instruments and mechanisms on a regional and international level, thereby acquiring and demonstrating skills in the acquisition and ordering of precise knowledge
  • apply this foundational knowledge to relevant case studies, drawn from the work of practising lawyers, thereby enhancing problem solving and analytical skills, and the ability to study a problem in depth
  • carry out research into complex issues of international criminal justice, in order to prepare for the coursework research essay.
  • evaluate the legitimacy and effectiveness of the various systems for international criminal justice in the light of the critical scholarly literature, thereby strengthening the ability to assimilate and deploy critical scholarly literature
  • analyse relevant issues concerning international criminal justice in order to come to sound conclusions regarding the present and future of this important branch of criminal law.

Recommended reading

  • Antonio Cassese International Criminal Law (2nd edn., Oxford 2008).
  • Antonio Cassese, Guido Acquaviva, Mary Fan and Alex Whiting International Criminal Law: Cases and Commentary (Oxford, 2011).
  • Robert Cryer Prosecuting International Crimes: Selectivity and the International Criminal Law Regime (Cambridge 2011).
  • Robert Cryer, Hakan Friman, Darryl Robinson, Elizabeth Wilmshurst An Introduction to International Criminal Law and Procedure (2nd edn., Cambridge, 2010).
  • Gerry Simpson Law, War and Crime: War Crimes Trials and the Reinvention of International Law (Polity Press, 2007).