Extreme forms of collective violence such as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes can endanger international peace and security. The international criminal justice system has been set up in order to prosecute these crimes and to thus restore international peace and security. These crimes are however extremely complex social phenomena and it takes an inter- and multidisciplinary approach to understand the true nature of this type of criminality and to effectively prosecute the perpetrators thereof.
This book enhances our knowledge of these complex phenomena and thus contributes to a better and more effective system of international criminal justice. Scholars from many different scientific disciplines such as law, criminology, political science, psychology, research methodology and information technology as well as practitioners from within the field have contributed to this book.
General themes in the book are: What kind of people are perpetrators of collective violence? How can we attribute criminal responsibility to individuals for crimes which are collective in nature? How can we study these crimes and how can we discover patterns of violence? What role can statistics play when holding individuals accountable? How to develop strategies of prosecution? What difficulties do prosecutors and judges face and how important and useful is the ICC Case Matrix? These are just a few of the many questions addressed in this book.
Contributors to the book are: Xabier Agirre, Kai Ambos, Olympia Bekou, Morten Bergsmo, Catrien Bijleveld, Athanasios Chouliaras, Mark Drumbl, Don Foster, Barbora Holá, Amelia Hoover Green, Annika Jones, Salim Nakhjavani, Sarah Nouwen, Mark Osiel, Stephan Parmentier, Michael Scharf, Alette Smeulers, James Waller, Wouter Werner, Martin Witteveen, Elisabeth Wood and Estelle Zinsstag.
The time that criminal law was pre-eminently a national matter is gone. Criminal law and criminal procedure is no longer solely a product of decisions made by national legislative bodies, applied by national police, prosecutors and judges. A new criminal law is developing which goes beyond separate nations: supranational criminal law.
One example of this development is the relatively young body of law concerning war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. Particularly essential to this development has been the establishment of the ICTY, the ICTR and the ICC, and of many internationalised tribunals all over the world. A second example of the development towards the supranationalisation of criminal law can be seen on a more regional level. In Europe for instance, the area of criminal law has become a prioritised field of co-operation in the third pillar of the European Union. These supranational criminal systems are criminal systems sui generis.
That at least is the presupposition of this series on supranational criminal law. The Supranational Criminal Law: Capita Selecta series contributes to this discussion from a theoretical, dogmatic point of view, working towards new, consistent and fair penal systems, crossing the borders of the old law families and traditions.
The series is edited by Dr. Roelof H. Haveman (editor-in-chief - Rule of Law Advisor, embassy of the Netherlands in Mali), Dr. Paul J.A. De Hert (Free University of Brussels, Belgium and University of Tilburg, the Netherlands) and Dr. Alette Smeulers (University of Groningen, the Netherlands).
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