TITLE

PRAVI CILJEVI MEĐUNARODNOG KAZNENOG PRAVOSUĐA

AUTHOR(S)
Damaška, Mirjan
PUB. DATE
January 2008
SOURCE
Croatian Annual of Criminal Law & Practice / Hrvatski ljetopis z;2008, Vol. 15 Issue 1, p13
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The article contains a sustained argument that the work of international criminal courts could be improved if their goals were to be reconsidered. Concerning these goals, three sets of problems are identified. The first one is their overabundance: even national criminal courts, the author claims, with their far greater enforcement powers, would stagger under the load of so many tasks. The second problem is the tension that exists among the chosen goals: they pull in different directions, capable of sabotaging one another. Managing these tensions would be greatly facilitated if a set of priorities existed, based on an understanding of the relative weight of competing goals. Acceptable trade-offs among contenders could then be identified. However, no clear set of priorities has emerged so far. The third goal-related problem is that of institutional competence: in the author's opinion, criminal couts are ill-equipped to achieve the objective of placing international crime in a large historical context. Having identified these three problems, the author then proposes two measures for their alleviation. One is to abandon, mute, or downplay some goals, such as the judges' ambition to be reliable historians - an ambition for whose attainment they are arguably not suited anyway. The other measure is to select a goal as primary or over-arching, but only in the weak sense of providing argumentative advantages in balancing competing objectives. The author proposes that primacy in this sense be accorded to the socio-pedagogical objective of strengthening a sense of accountability for international crime, by exposure and stigmatization of extreme forms of inhumanity. Success in this didactic objective requires, however, that internatinal criminal courts set a great store by being perceived by their constituencies as fair and legitimate authority. Having suggested what should be regarded as the central mission of international criminal courts, the author then turns to discuss for challenges to this mission. One is to decide whether global or local audiences should be at the center of the courts' attention. The other is to reconsider theories of responsibility which depart from ordinary moral intuitions, and could present a barrier to the acceptance of the courts' rulings on the part of their audiences. The third challenge is to adapt procedural from to the didactic purpose, and the fourth one is to respond to the criticsm that international criminal prosecutions are instituted mainly against citizens of states that are weak actors in the international arena.
ACCESSION #
39356601

 

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