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This module introduces students to the field of international criminal law. It provides a discussion and analysis of the history of international criminal responsibility and its development over time. In particular, it focuses on how the international community has reacted to atrocity crimes in terms of prosecution and sentencing. The module will, in particular focus on international prosecutions since the Nuremberg Trials in 1945, the development of ad hoc and hybrid tribunals and courts and the creation and practice of the International Criminal Court. The scope and nature of specific international crimes will be analysed in depth, i.e. genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and aggression. The module will also discuss modes of liability and sentencing in respect of international crimes. The legal frameworks of atrocity crimes will be analysed in depth, in addition to jurisprudence of international tribunals. Academic commentary on the operation and challenges of the legal framework will also be analysed.
The ultimate aim of this module is to provide students will a grounding in the legal framework of atrocity crimes with reference to academic commentary and tribunal practice.
Indicative topic list:
1. Introduction to International Criminal Law
2. The History of International Prosecution of Atrocity Crimes
4. Crimes against Humanity
5. War Crimes