The Ethics of Plea Bargaining in International Criminal Trials

Author: Henham, Ralph

Source: Liverpool Law Review, Volume 26, Number 3, January 2005 , pp. 209-224(16)

Publisher: Springer

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The paper argues that contemporary theoretical and philosophical concerns relating to the practice of plea bargaining in international trials for crimes such as genocide should be seen in the broader context of the perceived legitimacy of international trial justice. The paper questions the capacity of international trial structures to deliver a form of truth which contributes to justice suggesting that the legitimacy of the truth available is conditioned by ideology and normative practice. The paper suggests that the key to transforming international trial justice lies in promoting the link between trial ideology and the perceived moral legitimacy of its outcomes through the exercise of judicial discretionary power.

Keywords: genocide; international criminal trials; plea bargaining; truth within criminal justice

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Nottingham Law School, Nottingham Trent University, UK, Email:

Publication date: January 1, 2005

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