Proportionate Sentencing at the International Criminal Court
The Law and Practice of the International Criminal Court, Carsten Stahn ed. (Oxford University Press, 2014 Forthcoming)
32 Pages Posted: 26 Apr 2014 Last revised: 29 May 2014
Date Written: April 10, 2014
This book chapter proposes a theory of proportionate sentencing for the International Criminal Court (ICC). It argues that the ICC should reject the focus on retribution advocated in much of the scholarship on international sentencing. Instead, the judges should craft an approach to proportionality that aims to promote the ICC’s core mission of preventing crimes. Preventive proportionality at the ICC should primarily focus on ensuring appropriate norm expression and secondarily on other aspects of prevention such as deterrence, incapacitation, and restorative justice. The judges should apply the principle of parsimony to identify the least severe punishment they believe will contribute to the prevention of future international crimes. The concept of retribution should function at most as a limiting principle, ensuring that judges inflict no more punishment than they believe an offender deserves.
Keywords: proportionality, criminal law, sentencing, transitional justice, punishment
JEL Classification: K14, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation