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Overview of language rights in the international criminal law sentencing regimes

Overview of language rights in the international criminal law sentencing regimes

Spencer, Dragana (2018) Overview of language rights in the international criminal law sentencing regimes. International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue internationale de Sémiotique juridique, 31 (4). pp. 787-804. ISSN 0952-8059 (Print), 1572-8722 (Online) (doi:

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This paper examines the ‘deep-end’ of the international justice process—the incarceration of persons convicted in specially constituted international criminal tribunals and courts for gross violations of human rights, genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes with a focus on language rights of such prisoners who are commonly serving sentences in foreign prisons. The punishment phase of the international justice process and its effects are not easily quantifiable and have been largely hidden from view. Although international criminal law asserts that equal treatment before the law requires that there be no significant disparity in punishment regimes from one sentence-enforcing country to another, comparative penology shows that there are considerable differences in the conditions of confinement and the nature of correctional services in the prison systems of different countries. This has a direct impact on post-sentence procedural and rehabilitation rights of which language rights from a key part. In this specific context, and drawing from existing literature, the paper therefore examines the extent to which enforcement practice conforms to the ideal of equal treatment espoused by the tribunals.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © The Author(s) 2018. Open Access. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Uncontrolled Keywords: International justice, Enforcement of sentences, Language rights, Parity
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > Crime, Law & (In)Security Research Group (CLS)
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > School of Law & Criminology (LAC)
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2021 12:20

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