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International Crimes and the Ad Hoc Tribunals$
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Guénaël Mettraux

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199207541

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199207541.001.0001

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Applicable Law and Purposes of Sentencing

Applicable Law and Purposes of Sentencing

(p.343) 27 Applicable Law and Purposes of Sentencing
International Crimes and the Ad Hoc Tribunals

Guénaél Mettraux

Oxford University Press

It would be hard to identify crimes more difficult to sentence than those provided for in the statutes of the ad hoc tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. The political significance of phrases such as genocide or crimes against humanity, the greatness of the harm which the judges of both tribunals are generally expected to punish, the immense suffering of the many victims involved, and the public expectation that sentences will match the abhorrence of the crimes, all combine to place a heavy burden on the shoulders of judges who are to decide upon a sentence appropriate to the crimes of the accused they must sentence. The difficulty of their task is made no easier by the fact that neither the statutes of the tribunals, nor applicable precedents, offer much guidance in respect of sentencing international crimes. As far as penalties go, the statutes of the tribunals are limited to a certain degree.

Keywords:   statutes, genocide, crimes against humanity, international crimes, sentencing, penalties

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