Excuse and Mitigation Under International Criminal Law: Redrawing Conceptual Boundaries

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Abstract

Since the Nuremberg trials of 1945, the classification of men and women who commit atrocities in time of war has been a subject of bafflement. Attempts to explain this phenomenon have largely relied on various abnormality theories. However, none of these theories hold sway. Instead, the dominant view today is that men and women who commit atrocities are normal. This conclusion has confounded many because it is even harder to rationalize how people who in fact closely resemble us could perpetrate such violent crimes. How had they become evil criminals? The focus on this article is on excuse theory and its value in resolving this issue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-89
Number of pages67
JournalNew Criminal Law Review
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2010

Keywords

  • criminal law
  • psychology, sociology
  • social psychology
  • war crimes jurisprudence

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