Neo-Grotian Predicaments: On Larry May's Theory of International Criminal Law

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Abstract

This review essay strives to cast a critical, yet admiring, look at Larry May’s project of delivering a normative foundation for international criminal law. I start by summarizing the main arguments in three books and then isolate a few key themes that run through all of May’s writings: moral minimalism, natural law and defendant-orientation. The final part of the paper points to possible objections to May’s overall project. These objections are grounded in the observation that – despite its unique breadth and sophistication – May’s endeavour lacks an appreciation of the political dimension of international law. This charge is not necessarily meant as a fundamental challenge to the project, but rather as an argument to the effect that even the most elaborate system of thought contains blind spots that might warrant justified criticism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-360
JournalJournal of International Political Theory
Volume10
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014

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