Pluralism in International Criminal Law

Elies van Sliedregt

VU University Amsterdam - Faculty of Law


Leiden Journal of International Law, Vol. 25, Issue 4 (2012)

Fragmentation of international law is a phenomenon that has been discussed ever since the ILC in 2000 decided to add to its programme of work the topic ‘Risks ensuing from the fragmentation of international law’. The proliferation of international criminal courts and tribunals sparked this debate on fragmentation. The development of a specialist regime of international law was perceived as posing a risk to the coherence and homogeneity of international law. Much of the anxiety over fragmentation stems from the collision between the ICJ and the ICTY over the ‘overall control-test’ in Tadic where the ICTY departed from settled ICJ law on attribution of liability and on qualification of the nature of an armed conflict (employing a standard of ‘effective control’). Twenty years since the establishment of the ICTY, the fragmentation/pluralism debate has entered a new phase. With a well-developed body of ad hoc Tribunal case law, an emerging body of case law at the ICC, hybrid systems like the Cambodia Tribunal, and more and more domestic prosecutions, pluralism has become an issue within the branch of ICL. While there are those who express concern over heterogeneity in ICL, recent scholarship acknowledges ICL’s pluralistic nature and, instead of striving for unity, calls for ways of managing pluralism.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 8

Open PDF in Browser Download This Paper

Date posted: October 7, 2012 ; Last revised: December 12, 2012

Suggested Citation

Sliedregt, Elies van, Pluralism in International Criminal Law (2012). Leiden Journal of International Law, Vol. 25, Issue 4 (2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2158016

Contact Information

Elies Van Sliedregt (Contact Author)
VU University Amsterdam - Faculty of Law ( email )
De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
Feedback to SSRN

Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 993
Downloads: 223
Download Rank: 103,565