Mark Drumbl’s New Book Wins Major Book Prize

Lexington, VA • Monday, October 01, 2007

The International Association of Criminal Law (U.S. National Section) has awarded Washington and Lee Law Professor Mark Drumbl's book Atrocity, Punishment, and International Law (Cambridge University Press, 2007) its Book of the Year Prize for 2007. Drumbl is the Class of 1975 Alumni Professor of Law and Director of the School's Transnational Law Institute.

In his book, the first major study of its kind, Drumbl rethinks how perpetrators of atrocity crimes should be punished.  After reviewing the sentencing practices of courts and tribunals that censure genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes, he concludes that these practices fall short of the goals that international criminal law ascribes to punishment, in particular retribution and deterrence. This raises the question whether international prosecutorial and correctional preferences are as effective as hoped.

Drumbl will present his book in several endowed lectures this year and next, including here at W&L in the Class of 1975 investiture lecture on Wednesday, October 3 at 6:00 p.m. in the Millhiser Moot Court Room. Also, Drumbl has been invited by the Université de Paris to teach an intensive seminar based on the book as an invited professor.

A widely recognized expert in international law, Drumbl brings years of 'on the ground' experience working in international criminal tribunals to his analysis.  "It is time for international criminal law to reappraise its effectiveness and consider a broader response to atrocity that, although open to formal criminal trials, also includes the customs of the countries involved, as well as reparations, reconciliation, community service and the reintegration of perpetrators into society," says Drumbl. 

Founded in 1924, the International Association of Criminal Law has consultative status with the United Nations. Representing practitioners, policy-makers, and academics, the Association specializes in criminal policy, comparative criminal law, international criminal law, and human rights in the administration of criminal justice.

Atrocity, Punishment and International Law is available through booksellers, including electronically from and

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