Legitimate Authority and Extraterritorial Punishment

Alejandro Chehtman

in The Philosophical Foundations of Extraterritorial Punishment

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780199603404
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191725173 | DOI:
Legitimate Authority and Extraterritorial Punishment

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This chapter provides a theory of legitimate authority to try offenders. It applies Joseph Raz's service conception of authority to the question of what conditions a given body should meet in order to claim, itself, the power to punish an offender. This approach enable the chapter to conduct a philosophical examination of certain charges often raised against extraterritorial prosecutions, such as ‘show trials’, victor's justice, ‘clean hands’, tu quoque, and trials in absentia or against defendants who have been abducted abroad. It ultimately argues that although some of these considerations might undermine a particular state holding the authority to punish a given offender, they are all unrelated to the fact that it purports to punish an offender extraterritorially. In other words, it submits that although the argument for a given body's authority is necessary in order to provide a complete justification for this body holding the power to punish an offender, it is conceptually and normatively mistaken to consider these obstacles as objects to extraterritoriality itself.

Keywords: authority; service conception; courts; moral standing; victors' justice; tu quoque; show trials; trials in absentia; abductions; extraterritoriality

Chapter.  19265 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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