About CAICL

The CAICL Research Network is a collaborative project that brings together scholars who share an interest in critical approaches to International Criminal Law.

The field of International Criminal Law (ICL) has recently experienced a significant surge in scholarship, in institutions, and in public debate. Contemporary discussions are predominantly focussed on ICL’s contribution to projects of justice, peace, legality, ending impunity and accountability.  While individual sites of critique exist, these are largely limited to arguments about ICL’s effectiveness: if the International Criminal Court is not functioning as well as it could be, then it must be made more effective; if peace is not yet achieved through tackling impunity, then there must be more accountability.  These limited critiques have fostered an often self-congratulatory, uncritical, and over-confident field of international law which has marginalised deeper critical approaches.  Missing is any substantive engagement with the blindspots and complicities of ICL in injustice, conflict, exclusion, and imperialism.

Driven by frustration with the absence of a meaningful body of critique, and by their own isolation in pursuing such work, a number of academics and practitioners have initiated an ongoing collaboration dedicated to supporting research in this area.  The result is the Critical Approaches to International Criminal Law Research Network.

The Network is still in its formative stages and we welcome new members.  An initial conference bringing together founding members and other international scholars was held in Liverpool in December 2012.  Further events are planned and will be publicised on this site.