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The Principle of Legality in International and Comparative Criminal Law


  • Page extent: 632 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 1.09 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521886482)

This book fills a major gap in the scholarly literature concerning international criminal law, comparative criminal law, and human rights law. The principle of legality (non-retroactivity of crimes and punishments and related doctrines) is fundamental to criminal law and human rights law. Yet this was the first book-length study of the status of legality in international law - in international criminal law, international human rights law, and international humanitarian law. This was also the first book to survey legality/non-retroactivity in all national constitutions, developing the patterns of implementation of legality in the various legal systems such as Common Law, Civil Law, Islamic Law, and Asian Law around the world. This is a necessary book for any scholar, practitioner, and library in the area of international, criminal, comparative, human rights, or international humanitarian law.

• Covers the most basic idea in criminal law - an act can be punished only if it has already been declared a crime • Addresses the implementation of this idea in all of the countries of the world, in international human rights law and in international criminal law • Since Nuremberg, this issue has been important in human rights and criminal law thinking but had escaped extensive study until now


1. Legality in criminal law, its purposes, and its competitors; 2. A partial history to World War II; 3. Nuremberg, Tokyo, and other post-war cases; 4. Modern development of international human rights law: practice involving multilateral treaties and the universal declaration of human rights; 5. Modern comparative law development: national provisions concerning legality; 6. Legality in the modern international and internationalized criminal courts and tribunals; 7. Legality as a rule of customary international law today; Conclusion: the endurance of legality in national and international criminal law.


'Kenneth Gallant's book is a very welcome one and surely one of the better analyses, if not the best, of the principle of legality.' W. T. Worster, Journal of International Criminal Justice

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