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The Birth of the New JusticeThe Internationalization of Crime and Punishment, 1919-1950$
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Mark Lewis

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199660285

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199660285.001.0001

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(p.290) Conclusion
The Birth of the New Justice

Mark A. Lewis

Oxford University Press

A new philosophy of international prosecution and punishment developed between 1919 and 1950, sparked by world wars, the rise and fall of the League system, social anxieties, and intellectual trends in criminology. The Paris Peace Conference produced “the new justice,” comprised of the ideas that post-war prosecution for war crime was legitimate, heads of state should not be immune from prosecution, international tribunals carried greater symbolic weight than national ones, and international law could be best enforced by criminal prosecution. The Commission on Responsibilities at the Paris Peace Conference, the Committee of Jurists in the Hague in 1920, the International Law Association, the International Association of Criminal Law, the World Jewish Congress, and the International Committee of the Red Cross applied these ideas to distinct historical and social problems. The historical pathways of international criminal law, international humanitarian law, and minority protections remained separate in this period, though there were intersections as jurists from one area introduced ideas to another. This was a period of great intellectual experimentation and production of blueprints, a handful of which were implemented, though it was unclear at the start of the Cold War whether they would see much practical use.

Keywords:   International criminal law, International humanitarian law, Human rights, International Criminal Court

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