The Slippery Concept of "Object and Purpose" in International Criminal Law

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In little more than twenty-five years, the field of international criminal law has grown from a small slice of public international law into a functioning system of international justice, complete with multiple juridical bodies and substantial scholarly attention. Building on the legacy of the Nuremberg Tribunals and drawing from international humanitarian law, human rights law, and domestic criminal law principles, international criminal law has become its own discipline. Creating any new field of law is a complicated endeavor; this is especially true when the field affects and is affected by so many politically sensitive issues. Throughout this doctrinal experiment, one concept has been an essential ingredient to its development.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)799-840
Number of pages42
JournalAmerican University International Law Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2022


  • International courts
  • International law
  • International criminal law
  • Treaties
  • Criminal law
  • Criminal procedure (International law)


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