University of Pittsburgh

International Criminal Law Seminar

The Contribution of the Special Court for Sierra Leone to International Criminal Justice
The Contribution of the Special Court for Sierra Leone to International Criminal Justice
Term: Spring Term 2012-13 (2134)
Catalog Number: 5871
Class Number: 27786
Room: LAW G18.
Class Schedule:
  • Th 2:00 pm -3:50 pm
  • Instructor:
    Type: Seminar
    Credits: 3.0 Credits
    Catalog Requirements: Upper-Level Writing, International / Comparative, "W" Writing.
    Enrollment Limit: 12.
    Priority: Seminar - 3rd Year Priority

    Course Description from Course Catalog 5871

    Additional Info

    As the first modern ad hoc international criminal tribunal set to complete its mandate this year, this seminar will engage in a timely assessment of the contributions/limitations of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) to the development of international criminal law. Materials to be covered will include key tribunal instruments; leading jurisprudence on issues such as head of state immunity, the legality of domestic amnesties for international crimes, the relationship between criminal courts and alternative truth and reconciliation commissions, cases (including, in particular, the trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor); modes of participation in international crimes, in particular, command responsibility and the controversial doctrine of Joint Criminal Enterprise; as well as secondary materials such as United Nations Security Council reports and selected law review articles and book chapters discussing the above topics.

    The seminar will teach law students how to identify, research, evaluate and critique fundamental philosophical, legal and policy questions regarding the present state and future directions of international criminal justice. It considers, inter alia, the meaning of justice, whether justice and peace complement or compete with each other, and why some perpetrators of international crimes from weak states get prosecuted while those from the powerful countries go scot free. It will be especially useful for students contemplating a career in government or other public service, public interest law, criminal law (defense/prosecution), human rights law and international law.


    The course grade will be based on a major paper that fulfills the upper level writing requirement.

    Prerequisites and Recommended Courses

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