International Criminal Justice as Universal Social Defence – Quintiliano Saldaña (1878-1938)
F. Megret and I. Tallgren (Eds.) The Dawn of a Discipline – International Criminal Justice and Its Early Exponents (Cambridge University Press, 2020 Forthcoming)
22 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2019
Date Written: February 9, 2019
Quintiliano Saldaña Garcia-Rubio (1878-1938) was one of the leading proponents of ‘legal pragmatism’ in European criminal law circles in the interwar period and the author of the first course on international criminal justice delivered at The Hague Academy of International Law in 1925. This chapter examines the three main stages in Saldaña’s polyhedral intellectual life. The first part surveys Saldaña’s formative years and his early academic professional development, examining the influence of Franz von Liszt’s Marburg School of Criminal Law on his academic interests and professional career until the end of the First World War. The second part examines Saldaña’s seminal theory of ‘universal social defence’ and his 1925 Hague Academy course, La justice pénale internationale, which included one of the first projects for an international criminal code. It also reviews Saldaña's legislative contribution to the polemical 1928 Spanish Criminal Code project, which is widely considered an example of a proto-fascist criminal code. The third part follows Saldaña’s career during the Second Spanish Republic, surveying his criminal law and criminology work in the development of his theory of ‘legal pragmatism.’ It also revisits his engagement with the mid-1930s international legal debates on terrorism in the framework his contribution to the works of the International Bureau for the Unification of Criminal Law. The conclusion revisits the mysterious circumstances of Saldaña’s death during the Spanish Civil War and the dark legacy of his legal thought on the criminal law system of General Franco’s regime in Spain.
Keywords: International criminal justice, international criminal law, universal social defence, international criminal code, legal pragmatism, Hague Academy, terrorism, Marburg School, Von Liszt, Spanish Criminal Code, Second Spanish Republic, Spanish Civil War, Franco’s criminal law, Quintiliano Saldaña
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