Legal Positivism in International Criminal Law


In this paper I will argue that, international criminal law constitutes a valid legal system. There is skepticism over the authority of international law; some claim that it is not a genuine legal system, and does not command legal obligation. I will adopt a particular legal positivist position, known as moral attitude positivism, and apply this to an analysis of international criminal law. I will argue that the criteria necessary for a legal system on the positivist account are present in the international system of criminal law. Specifically, I will argue that a ‘rule of recognition’ can be drawn from a variation of the legal norm pacta sunt servanda, and this serves to validate the system as a whole. I conclude that the skeptic is wrong, and that international criminal law should be regarded as a valid legal system, commanding genuine legal authority.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 89,378

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

  • Only published works are available at libraries.

Similar books and articles


Added to PP

21 (#622,051)

6 months
2 (#640,495)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references