Hans Köchler


International Criminal Justice at the Crossroads

Philosophical Reflections on the Principles of International Order Published on the Occasion of the Thirtieth Anniversary of the Foundation of the International Progress Organization



Vienna/New York: Springer, 2003, IX + 449 pages, ISBN 3-211-40597-6


The book deals with the evolving concept of universal jurisdiction, with the modern doctrine of humanitarian intervention, and with the challenges faced by legal theory in addressing issues of international terrorism. One of the author’s main intentions is to reflect upon the philosophical foundations of international criminal law in the context of power politics. K
öchler analyzes the prospects of the recently established International Criminal Court and compares this institution to other forms of universal jurisdiction such as the Security Council's ad hoc tribunals. He also points to the problem of double standards in the current practice of "humanitarian politics."

Hans Köchler was appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations as international observer at the Lockerbie trial in the Netherlands. His experience gained at the "trial of the century" motivated him to reflect on the feasibility of international criminal justice and humanitarian intervention in the framework of the present unipolar world order.