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Rethinking the 'international law of crime': Provocations from Transnational Legal Studies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-88
JournalTransnational Legal Theory
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2015

King's Authors


Neil Boister's distinction between international and transnational criminal law offers a valuable first step in delineating two fields of enquiry. Drawing on transnational legal studies, however, we show in section I how Boister engages with international criminal law in an idealised form, yet in practice this area of law faces many of the same challenges that plague transnational criminal law. In section II we challenge the stability of the category of ‘transnational crime’ and pluralise the international regulatory matrix beyond the use of criminal law to address the fall-outs of globalisation, expanding, in the process, the horizontal, vertical and temporal dimensions of transnational criminal law. We argue against reifying international and transnational criminal law and draw on the critical orientation of transnational legal studies manifest in its invocations of legal realism, legal pluralism and socio-legal scholarship to articulate a wide-ranging agenda for rethinking the theoretical and empirical dimensions of the ‘international law of crime’.

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