Research Handbooks in International Law series
Edited by Róisín Mulgrew and Denis Abels
Chapter 11: Limiting the objectives of the enforcement of international punishment
International criminal justice is an ambitious undertaking. This is due to high expectations on the part of different stakeholders. The international criminal tribunals are generally expected to serve such ‘grand’ goals as promoting or maintaining peace and security, historiography, upholding and advancing the rule of law, fostering or contributing to reconciliation and giving a voice to victims of mass atrocity. The sentencing judges of international criminal tribunals and courts have added to those objectives the classic aims of punishment, i.e., retribution and prevention (the latter through deterrence, incapacitation and, to a much lesser extent, rehabilitation), which they appear to import from the domestic context. The aim of this chapter is to lay the basis for an inquiry into the objectives of the enforcement of international punishment. Prison law is an area that is already characterized by having many, sometimes competing objectives: resocialization or rehabilitation, normalization and a rights-based approach may clash with security, order and safety considerations. This chapter addresses the issue of whether the larger objectives of international criminal justice should also play a direct role in the tribunals’ penal regimes for the enforcement of the tribunals’ sentencing judgments.
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