LL4AR Half Unit
International Criminal Law: Core Crimes and Concepts
This information is for the 2020/21 session.
Prof Gerry Simpson NAB 6.13
This course is available on the LLM (extended part-time), LLM (full-time), MSc in Criminal Justice Policy, MSc in Human Rights and University of Pennsylvania Law School LLM Visiting Students. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.
This course will be relevant to the following LLM specialisms: Criminology and Criminal Justice, Public International Law, Human Rights Law. This course is capped at 30 students.
The course looks at the rules, concepts, principles, institutional architecture, and enforcement of what we call international criminal law or international criminal justice, or, sometimes, the law of war crimes. The focus of the course is the area of international criminal law concerned with traditional “war crimes” and, in particular, four of the core crimes set out in the Rome Statute (war crimes, torture as a crime against humanity, genocide and aggression). It adopts a historical, philosophical and practical focus throughout, though the course is mainly directed at the conceptual problems associated with the prosecution of war criminals and, more broadly, legalised retribution. Attention, in this respect, will be directed towards the moral and jurisprudential dilemmas associated with bureaucratic criminality and individual culpability. Topics might include Pre-History (Vitoria, Grotius, Gentili, Cicero), Versailles, Nuremberg and Tokyo, the Trial of Adolf Eichmann, Crimes Against Humanity, the Crime of Aggression, Anti-Anti-Impunity, International Criminal Law’s Historical Method.
This course is delivered through a combination of classes and lectures totalling a minimum of 20 hours in Michaelmas Term. This year teaching will be delivered through recorded online lectures and a mix of both in-person and online classes to accommodate students who are unable to physically be on campus. This course includes a reading week in Week 6 of Michaelmas Term.
One 2,000 word essay.
Gerry Simpson, Law, War and Crime, (2007)
Philippe Sands, East-West Street, (2017)
Georg Schwarzenberger, International Law and Totalitarian Lawlessness, (1943)
Judith Shklar, Legalism, (1964)
Maurice Hankey, Politics, Trials, Errors (1950)
Christine Schwobel, Critical Approaches to International Criminal Law: An Introduction (2015)
Sam Moyn, The Last Utopia, (2010)
Mark Lewis, The Birth of the New Justice: The Internationalization of Crime and Punishment, 1919-1950 (2014)
Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours, reading time: 15 minutes) in the summer exam period.
Important information in response to COVID-19
Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.
Total students 2019/20: 29
Average class size 2019/20: 29
Controlled access 2019/20: Yes
Value: Half Unit
Personal development skills
- Specialist skills