Sentencing and penalties

Authored by: Nadia Bernaz

Routledge Handbook of International Criminal Law

Print publication date:  November  2010
Online publication date:  November  2010

Print ISBN: 9780415552035
eBook ISBN: 9780203836897
Adobe ISBN: 9781136866685


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The fact that numerous individuals are currently serving prison sentences following their conviction by international criminal tribunals for international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes constitutes one of the most visible signs of the extraordinary evolution of international criminal law over the past 20 years. Persons who might previously have evaded prosecution are now incarcerated. While the implementation of international law is often seen as lacking, it is somewhat satisfying to be able to point to imprisoned individuals who are ‘paying for their crimes’. The imprisonment of these criminals seems to be an almost natural way of addressing the public’s indignation towards their crimes and, arguably, it provides the surviving victims with some form of closure and a sense of justice.

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