A substantive and contextual examination of jurisdiction in international law

Arnell, Paul Donovan

August 1998

Thesis or dissertation

© 1998 Paul Donovan Arnell. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

[From the introduction]:
International criminal law and jurisdiction are fields of ever greater significance. Developments within them are frequent and important. Resultant is the need for conceptual understanding, in isolation as well as in context. This is the aim of this thesis; it is argued that it is only through a contextual and substantive approach that full and proper understanding is possible. The criminal law, and its lawful application through reference to a right of jurisdiction, fundamentally concerns two parties; States and private legal persons. It is of the utmost importance for both. For States the criminal law at its most basic level serves to protect its very existence. Here it is a critical defensive mechanism; the State through the means of its criminal justice system ensuring its continuance. Further, through the imposition of a general coercive regime the society upon which the State is based is protected from anarchy as well as the continuance of a system of governance based upon the rule of law and the framework for a system founded upon democratic and liberal tenets are ensured. For individuals the criminal law is of no less importance. The individual is, of course, the subject of the application of criminal prescriptions. It is the individual who is made to suffer in person or goods the sanctions attached to such prescriptions. Indeed as the application of criminal law can and does protect the societal human rights through for example deterrence and the prevention of recidivism so too must it protect the human rights of the accused. Clearly, that the criminal law potentially affects the individual's right to liberty, the collective rights of society, and the existence and nature of States themselves, its significance is manifest.

Law School, The University of Hull
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