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Justice as Message – Expressivist Foundations of International Criminal Justice - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Justice as Message: Expressivist Foundations of International Criminal Justice

Carsten Stahn


International criminal justice is a form of social performance. It relies on messages, speech acts, and performatives practices in order to convey social meaning. Major criminal proceedings, such as Nuremberg or Tokyo and other post-Second World War trials have been branded as ‘spectacles of didactic legality’. However, the expressive and the communicative functions of law have been sidelined in institutional discourse and legal practice. The concept of expressivism is referred to in justifications of punishment or sentencing rationales. It appears as reference in scholarly treatises, but it h ... More

Keywords: international criminal justice, law, expressive function, communication, performance, norm expression, speech act theory, punishment, Durkheim, Luhmann

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9780198864189
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2020 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198864189.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Carsten Stahn, author
Professor of International Criminal Law and Global Justice, Leiden Law School and Professor of Public International Law and International Criminal Justice, Queen's University Belfast School of Law