n South African Journal of Criminal Justice - Revisiting Schwarzenberger today : the problem of an international criminal law

Volume 16, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1011-8527
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2118



This article canvasses some of the main points raised by Schwarzenberger in a famous article written in the 1950s. The central objection he had to the idea of an international criminal law arose from the structure of the system of international law itself, which has no central authority to enforce its proscriptions. This article explores the concept of individual and state criminal responsibility and considers the characteristics which all international crimes cumulatively embrace. It considers recent evidence of international criminal law offered by the establishment of the <I>ad hoc&lt;/I&gt; Tribunals and the International Criminal Court. It attempts to chart the progress made by the international community in this field since the 1950s but concludes, as did Schwarzenberger, that international criminal law is not universally applicable.

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