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On the panel (L-R): Annika Jones, John Bridge, Hayden Fairburn, Richard Mahal and Josie Hillyer.

The International Criminal Court: Early Proposals and Modern Reality

Exactly fifty years ago, a young lecturer in law at the University of Exeter published an ambitious and prescient article entitled The Case for an International Court of Criminal Justice and the Formulation of International Criminal Law. 

The author, Professor John Bridge, went on to have an illustrious and successful academic career strongly connected with the University of Exeter.

On Wednesday 29th October, the International Law Forum invited Professor Bridge to return to the University of Exeter to reminisce on the proposal he made in 1964 and to offer a chance to contrast early proposals for an international criminal court with the institution that actually came into being in 2002. The event was equally a commemoration of an influential and rigorous academic text and an opportunity for young scholars of today to consider the existing International Criminal Court (ICC) against its broader historical background.

Professor Bridge began the event with a lecture, explaining the background to his article and the history of proposals for the creation of an International Criminal Court. His talk was followed by up by formal responses given by three Exeter students: Hayden Fairburn, Richard Mahal and Josie Hillyer. The responses reflected critically on the law and practice of the ICC as it exists today in light of the projections for the Court discussed in Professor Bridge’s article. During the reception that followed, Richard Mahal was awarded a book prize for his formal response.

Date: 5 November 2014

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