Document Type

Book Review

Publication Title

Michigan Law Review

Publication Date



This Review Essay of Philippe Sands' (ed.) From Nuremberg to the Hague (2003) explores a number of controversial aspects of the theory and praxis of international criminal law. The Review Essay traces the extant heuristic of international criminal justice institutions to Nuremberg and posits that the Nuremberg experience suggests the need for modesty about what criminal justice actually can accomplish in the wake of mass atrocity. It also explores the place of one person's guilt among organic crime, the reality that international criminal law may gloss over criminogenic conditions in its pursuit of individualized accountability, the possibility of group sanction for collective violence, and the complex relationship between international interventions and national legal institutions. In the end, this manuscript underscores the relevance of law to stigmatizing enemies of humankind while underscoring that the best way to bolster this relevance is through a sincere, and sustained, process of critique and reflection.


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