Journal Article

Long-Term Sentences in International Criminal Law

Damien Scalia

in Journal of International Criminal Justice

Volume 9, issue 3, pages 669-687
Published in print July 2011 | ISSN: 1478-1387
Published online July 2011 | e-ISSN: 1478-1395 | DOI:
Long-Term Sentences in International Criminal Law

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The purpose of this article is to analyse the influence of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on international criminal law, as applied by international criminal courts, specifically in the field of pronounced or executed sentences. This influence is neither direct nor explicit. Therefore, it is interesting to compare the treatment of sentencing by international criminal tribunals with the criteria established by the ECtHR, especially in relation to long-term sentences. This comparison raises three important questions: proportionality, legality and the issue of life imprisonment. Regarding proportionality and legality it seems that most ECtHR criteria are not respected by international criminal courts. Regarding life imprisonment, this article gives me the opportunity to discuss whether this type of sentence — as provided by the statutes of international criminal tribunals — could constitute inhuman or degrading treatment within the meaning of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Journal Article.  9357 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law ; International Law

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