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International Criminal Law: An Ideology Critique


The article engages in an ideology critique of international criminal-law texts and discourse, drawing on a theoretical framework developed by critical legal studies scholars in order to interrogate, in a different jurisprudential context, the assumptions undergirding contemporary international criminal-law (ICL) scholarship. It argues that the triumphalism surrounding ICL and its adequacy to deal with conflict and violence ignores the factors and forces – including specific international legal interventions in countries’ political economies – that shape or even help establish the environment from which such conflict and violence emanate. In uncritically celebrating ICL and equating it with a pacific international rule of law, ICL scholarship risks shaping passive acquiescence in the status quo and discouraging more throughgoing efforts to address the systemic forces underlying instances of violence, including political–economic forces shaped by international legal institutions.

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Leiden Journal of International Law
  • ISSN: 0922-1565
  • EISSN: 1478-9698
  • URL: /core/journals/leiden-journal-of-international-law
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