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12 June 2017
VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands

CFP: Punishing International Crimes in Domestic Courts

Date: 12 June 2017
Venue: VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands


The international community deems that international crimes, such as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, cannot go unpunished. During the 1990s it significantly stepped up its ‘fight against impunity’ and established numerous international criminal courts and tribunals to prosecute and punish perpetrators of such atrocity crimes committed around the globe. Over the past decades, also domestic courts have increasingly prosecuted and punished perpetrators of international crimes. Perpetrators tried and sentenced at domestic courts clearly outnumber those at the international level. Domestic mass atrocity crimes trials, however, have so far attracted only limited attention in international criminal justice discussions and scholarship. In particular, little attention is given to the sentencing and post-sentencing phase in these domestic contexts.

As many have argued, the future of criminal justice for mass atrocity crimes is domestic. For this reason, learning lessons from past domestic trials is increasingly relevant. The purpose of this one-day conference in Amsterdam is to bring together scholars and practitioners to discuss practices and challenges with regard to sentencing, incarceration and reintegration of perpetrators of international crimes in domestic contexts. This meeting aims to bring together experts from the legal institutions in The Hague and from various countries around the globe to promote a cross-border, cross-disciplinary dialogue about the practices and challenges of punishing perpetrators of mass atrocity crimes in domestic trials.

Organisers invite submissions discussing punishment practices in a specific country or region. In order to get an overview of existing practices, each presenter will be asked to first provide an up-to-date overview on the number of trials, their outcomes and the modality and severity of punishment handed out to perpetrators of international crimes in the domestic jurisdiction(s) in question. Building upon this, papers based on theoretical, doctrinal or empirical research should focus on a specific aspect of punishment practices, such as:

  • Sentence modalities and severity of sentences for international crimes
  • Sentence justifications, sentencing goals, principles and factors
  • Comparative analyses of sentencing (to ordinary crimes, to international tribunals (if applicable), to other countries)
  • Conditions of incarceration
  • Offender rehabilitation
  • Perspectives on sentencing (criticism/reception)
  • Reintegration of offenders after their release

Those interested in presenting a paper at the conference should submit an application before 15 April 2017 via email to b.hola@vu.nl and include 1.) name and affiliation; 2.) short CV of max 1 page; and 3) title of the paper and 300 word abstract.

To view a detailed CFP please click here.