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Vol 23 No 3 March/April 2018

Book of the Month

Cover of Scamell and Gasztowicz on Land Covenants

Scamell and Gasztowicz on Land Covenants

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Necessary Evils: Amnesties and the Search for Justice

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ISBN13: 9781107403239
Published: August 2011
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Paperback (Hardback 2010)
Price: £30.99
Hardback edition , ISBN13 9780521895255

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This 2009 book is about amnesties for grave international crimes that states adopt in moments of transition or social unrest. The subject is naturally controversial, especially in the age of the International Criminal Court. The goal of this book is to reframe and revitalise the global debate on the subject and to offer an original framework for resolving amnesty dilemmas when they arise. Most literature and jurisprudence on amnesties deal with only a small subset of state practice and sidestep the ambiguity of amnesty's position under international law. This book addresses the ambiguity head on and argues that amnesties of the broadest scope are sometimes defensible when adopted as a last recourse in contexts of mass violence. Drawing on an extensive amnesty database, the book offers detailed guidance on how to ensure that amnesties extend the minimum leniency possible, while imposing the maximum accountability on the beneficiaries.

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International Criminal Law
Part I. The Debate on Amnesties
1. Introduction
2. Defining amnesty
3. Amnesties and impunity
4. Amnesties and international law
5. Amnesties and the ICC
6. The evolving UN position on amnesties
7. Conclusions
Part II. The Design of Amnesties
8. Introduction
9. Last recourse threshold
10. Overarching parameters for amnesty design
10. Specific amnesty design choices
11. Conclusions.