When the curtain falls: trajectories of the post-criminal behavior of international criminals

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Authors: Aleksandr Evseev, Alana Siukaeva

DOI: 10.21128/2226-2059-2023-2-33-50

Keywords: war crimes; International Criminal Court; international criminal tribunals ad hoc; applicable penalties; early release; rehabilitation of international criminals


This article analyzes the procedural and psychological aspects of serving sentences by international criminals. Special attention is paid to their life after release and the problems that arise in connection with their reintegration into society. An attempt is made to identify the main psychotypes of criminals, based on their attitude to their crime and their assessment of their own role in it. The article concludes that long-term prison isolation generally helps to reduce the criminogenic potential of such persons. Specific examples show strategies resulting in successful and unsuccessful career-building after serving a sentence. Particular attention is paid to the situation of prisoners adjudged by the International Criminal Court for Rwanda, who for years could not return to their homeland or receive shelter in a third country. In this regard, it is concluded that there is weak coordination of cooperation between international criminal justice bodies and national authorities. Separate consideration is given to the question of the purpose of punishment pursued by bodies of international criminal justice. These include just desert, general prevention, and special prevention. More difficult is the question of the possibility of rehabilitating an international criminal. At first glance, this goal is a traditional one for courts and the correctional labor system at the national level. At the same time, what the international criminal has done testifies to such a profound deformation of the human personality that traditional means of correction can hardly be effective. Nevertheless, the practice of a number of international criminal tribunals, primarily the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, shows the possibility of correcting such a criminal if the deed was committed under duress. It is concluded that how an international criminal is perceived in his homeland after serving his sentence and returning home is largely determined by the values that are held by the local population as a whole.

About the authors: Aleksandr Evseev – Candidate of Sciences (Ph.D.) in Law, Associate Professor, Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia; Alana Siukaeva – Ph.D. Student, School of International Law, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia.

Citation: Evseev A., Siukaeva A. (2023) Kogda opuskaetsya zanaves: traektorii postkriminal’nogo povedeniya mezhdunarodnykh prestupnikov [When the curtain falls: trajectories of the post-criminal behavior of international criminals]. Mezhdunarodnoe pravosudie, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 33–50. (In Russian).


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