Marina Aksenova

Junior Fellow
Period of Stay: 
October 2016 - February 2017
University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Project Title: 
Monograph: Symbolism of International Criminal Law
Project Abstract: 

The book I am working on and hoping to finish during my stay at the CEU is called ‘Symbolism of International Criminal Law’. It is an attempt to make sense of the criticisms of the discipline and explain the value of international criminal justice, despite its visible shortcomings. The main claim is that international criminal law is symbolic in that, unlike domestic penal law, it is not suited to capture and punish all those responsible for collective violence, but rather it is an outlet for the trials of the chosen few. The selectivity of international prosecutions creates justified sense of unease in legal professionals and wider community alike. This is natural because legitimacy of international criminal courts and tribunals is measured against the ideas of criminal justice domestically conceived. International politics and international relations place unavoidable limitations on what international criminal justice can realistically achieve. But even within these constraints, the discipline has potential to thrive as a medium for communicating universally accepted values.