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Punishment

Shahram Dana

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Beyond Retroactivity To Realizing Justice: A Theory On The Principle Of Legality In International Criminal Law Sentencing, Shahram Dana Jan 2009

Beyond Retroactivity To Realizing Justice: A Theory On The Principle Of Legality In International Criminal Law Sentencing, Shahram Dana

Shahram Dana

Only the innocent deserve the benefits of the principle of legality. This statement naturally offends our notions of justice. It would be unacceptable for courts of criminal justice to institutionalize such an approach. Yet, in the context of prosecuting mass atrocities, genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes, international criminal courts appear to be resigned to such a principle, if not openly embracing it. Although ranking among the most fundamental principles of criminal law, nulla poena sine lege (no punishment without law) receives surprisingly little attention in international criminal justice. Indeed, that it may be considered the 'poor cousin' of …