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Online Session 3 Session 3

Unit Summary

Unit type

UG Coursework Unit

Credit points

12

AQF level

7

Level of learning

Advanced

Former School/College

Former School of Law and Justice

Pre-requisites

96 credit points in any SCU units

Unit aim

Examines the rules of international individual criminal responsibility in the context of the most heinous crimes of the modern era, including the main international crimes committed during the Nazi regime, the Apartheid era in South Africa, the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia, the wars in former Yugoslavia during the 1990s, and the practices of the military rulers in Burma. The extent, consistency, adequacy and variety of the international community's response will be critically analysed. The issues concerning the creation of a permanent International Criminal Court will also be explored.

Unit content

Module 1 - International criminal justice up until World War II and its aftermath
Topic 1 Introduction to international criminal justice - basic concepts and history prior to World War II
Topic 2 The Nazi regime
Topic 3 The Nuremberg International Military Tribunal (the 'IMT')
Topic 4 Selected World War II related trials following the IMT and Crimes Against Humanity

Module 2 - Selected events involving international crime since World War II
Topic 5 The apartheid era in South Africa and the creation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Topic 6 The Khmer Rouge regime and the international crime of genocide
Topic 7 Events concerning the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s and war crimes
Topic 8 The rule of the Burmese generals and the international crime of slavery and related practices

Module 3 - The international community's response to international crime
Topic 9 The response of the international community - the different options
Topic 10 The creation of a permanent international criminal court

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

GA1: , GA2: , GA3: , GA4: , GA5: , GA6: , GA7:
On completion of this unit, students should be able to: GA1 GA2 GA3 GA4 GA5 GA6 GA7
1 identify and outline the historical, social and political context of the events surrounding the crimes studied throughout this unit
2 demonstrate an awareness of the concept of individual international criminal responsibility and the rules of international criminal law
3 describe and analyse the main legal issues in respect of the international crimes studied during this unit, and the main possible legal defences to these crimes, and apply the definitions of these international crimes and defences to specific fact situations
4 critically evaluate the role of the legal system and the moral responsibility of lawyers and judges when the state itself acts in a criminal manner
5 critically analyse the extent, consistency and adequacy of the international community's response to such crimes, and compare and contrast the variety of these responses
6 analyse the concept of a permanent International Criminal Court, and the various legal and non-legal issues surrounding its establishment
7 demonstrate an ability to conduct research in the field of international criminal justice, and enhance their skills in legal research, critical analysis and the written presentation of research and argument.

On completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. identify and outline the historical, social and political context of the events surrounding the crimes studied throughout this unit
    • GA4:
  2. demonstrate an awareness of the concept of individual international criminal responsibility and the rules of international criminal law
    • GA1:
    • GA4:
  3. describe and analyse the main legal issues in respect of the international crimes studied during this unit, and the main possible legal defences to these crimes, and apply the definitions of these international crimes and defences to specific fact situations
    • GA1:
    • GA4:
  4. critically evaluate the role of the legal system and the moral responsibility of lawyers and judges when the state itself acts in a criminal manner
    • GA1:
    • GA2:
    • GA4:
  5. critically analyse the extent, consistency and adequacy of the international community's response to such crimes, and compare and contrast the variety of these responses
    • GA1:
    • GA2:
    • GA4:
  6. analyse the concept of a permanent International Criminal Court, and the various legal and non-legal issues surrounding its establishment
    • GA1:
    • GA4:
  7. demonstrate an ability to conduct research in the field of international criminal justice, and enhance their skills in legal research, critical analysis and the written presentation of research and argument.
    • GA1:
    • GA4:

Prescribed texts

  • Ratner, S, Abrams, J & Bischoff, J, 2009, Accountability for Human Rights Atrocities in International Law: Beyond the Nuremberg Legacy, 3rd edn, Oxford University Press, Oxford. ISBN: 978-0-19-954667.
Prescribed texts may change in future teaching periods.