Justice as Message: Expressivist Foundations of International Criminal Justice

ISBN : 9780198864189

Carsten Stahn
464 ページ
156 x 234 mm

International criminal justice relies on messages, speech acts, and performative practices in order to convey social meaning. Major criminal proceedings, such as Nuremberg, Tokyo, and other post-World War II trials have been branded as 'spectacles of didactic legality'. However, the expressive and communicative functions of law are often side-lined in institutional discourse and legal practice. This innovative work brings these functions centre-stage, developing the idea of justice as message and outlining the expressivist foundations of international criminal justice in a systematic way.
Professor Carsten Stahn examines the origins of the expressivist theory in the sociology of law and the justification of punishment, its articulation in practice, and its broader role as method of international law. He shows that expression and communication is not only an inherent part of the punitive functions of international criminal justice, but is represented in a whole spectrum of practices: norm expression and diffusion, institutional actions, performative aspects of criminal procedures, and repair of harm. He argues that expressivism is not a classical justification of justice or punishment on its own, but rather a means to understand its aspirations and limitations, to explain how justice is produced and to ground punishment rationales. This book is an invitation to think beyond the confines of the legal discipline, and to engage with the multidisciplinary foundations and possibilities of the international criminal justice project.


1 International Criminal Justice and Expressivist Theory
2 Norm Expression: Norm Affirmation, Norm Projection, and Storytelling
3 Institutional Expression: The Medium as Message
4 Procedural Expression: Judicial Theater, Legal Performance, and Discursive Justice
5 Remedial Expression: Expressive Punishment and Repair of Harm
6 International Criminal Law as Expressivist Justice: Meanings, Implications, and Critiques


Carsten Stahn is Professor of International Criminal Law and Global Justice at Leiden University and is Professor of Public International Law and International Criminal Justice at Queen's University Belfast School of Law. He has previously worked as Legal Officer in Chambers of the International Criminal Court (2003-2007) and as Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law (2000-2003). He has published 13 books and over 70 articles/essays in different fields of international law and international justice.
He obtained his PhD degree (summa cum laude) from Humboldt University Berlin after completing his First and Second State Exam in Law in Germany. He holds LL.M. degrees from New York University and Cologne/Paris I (Pantheon-Sorbonne).