International Criminal Law: Over-studied and Underachieving?

E. van Sliedregt

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In his recent review of Neil Boister's book, An Introduction to Transnational Criminal Law, Robert Currie praises the author for shedding light on a field of law that has suffered from inattention. Transnational criminal law (TCL), the 'other' branch of what was traditionally called international criminal law, has been overshadowed by international criminal law 'proper' (ICL). The establishment of international criminal tribunals after the end of the Cold War, culminating in the establishment of the 'flagship' court, the International Criminal Court (ICC), came with a spectacular rise of ICL as a separate legal discipline. As a result, ICL stole the limelight at the expense of TCL. Currie deplores this since TCL presents features and issues that are worthy and in pressing need of in-depth study. Also, in his view the attention to ICL is unjustified: ICL 'as an academic and legal inquiry or study has become distended by over-study'. While he supports the mission of international criminal justice in general, Currie points out that ICL as an academic discipline is saturated; each article, paragraph and subparagraph of the ICC Statute has been pulled apart and dissected.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
JournalLeiden Journal of International law
Early online date1 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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