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Book Review: Crime and Global Justice: The Dynamics of International Punishment

Blog of the London School of Economics: “In Crime and Global Justice: The Dynamics of International PunishmentDaniele Archibugi and Alice Pease delve into the hypocrisies and failings of international justice projects. Their book offers a timely reminder that the current international justice regime has not offered a silver bullet for complex political problems, writes Teemu Laulainen.

“In the absence of truly cosmopolitan jurisdiction, international criminal justice has remained in the shackles of powerful political interests, even though law by its nature should strive towards categorical impartiality. This is the central conundrum addressed by Daniele Archibugi and Alice Pease in Crime and Global Justice: The Dynamics of International Punishment. Archibugi is a Research Director at the Italian National Research Council (INRC) and a Professor of Innovation, Governance and Public Policy at Birkbeck College; and Pease, a freelance researcher and a graduate of University of Edinburgh and University of Bologna. The former has an impressive back catalogue in the field of International Relations, while for Pease, Crime and Global Justice is a formidable debut. The subtitle of the volume incorporates a zinger. All too often international justice comes across as the powerful punishing the weak by ‘turning [their] enemies into criminals’ (19) under the veil of legalism. An oft-heard critique of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is that nine out of ten of its investigations have focused on Africa, while the global heavy hitters are shielded from its jurisdiction. One only has to think of the Hague Invasion Act passed by the US Congress in 2002 to see the discrepancies here. If true impartiality remains unachieved, why would it not be more meaningful to talk about international punishment rather than international justice? In Crime and Global Justice, Archibugi and Pease dissect the politics of globalising law and show how political forces continue to influence judicial discretion and prevent prosecution altogether…”

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