1887
Volume 2, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2589-7233
  • E-ISSN: 2589-7241
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Abstract

Abstract

Some international law scholars have argued that international war law, rather than proscribing violence in war, has instead been a vehicle for its legitimation. Given that laws are constituted in and through language, this paper explores this paradox through register analysis of the text of the Rome Statute, an international treaty adopted in 1998 which established the International Criminal Court to prosecute the crimes of “genocide”, “crimes against humanity”, “war crimes” and “crimes of aggression”. The parameters of field, tenor and mode are considered in conjunction with a brief account of linguistic features of Article 8 of the Rome Statute, which defines the scope of the term “war crimes”. The linguistic patterns provide evidence that the Rome Statute simultaneously outlaws some acts of violence while affording legal cover for others, despite their well-known devastating human consequences. The analysis provides linguistic evidence for Malešević’s (2010) claim that at the heart of modernity lies an “ontological dissonance”, through which we criminalise some forms of violence while legitimating others.

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2020-01-29
2020-09-29
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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): case study , Halliday , Hasan , IHL , legality , Malešević , organised violence , register , Rome Statute , violence and war law
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