chapter  10
8 Pages

Legality and Resolving Ambiguity

This book began as a project investigating the transplantation of the common law notion of abuse of process into international criminal law and whether this would be adequate to protect the integrity of judicial proceedings when prosecuting the crime of aggression. Preliminary research indicated that far from being a run-ofthe-mill defence, the doctrine delved right into the very purpose and utility of the law while raising the spectre of a threat to the rule of law’s guaranteeing of life, liberty and property and hence represented a danger to life and the quality of life itself. This connected it directly to the problem of criminalizing violence in international law: first by querying what the utility of law was against violence, second by revealing that the distinction between force and violence is a legal distinction of what are otherwise indistinguishable, and third by laying bare the paradox of law’s prevention of the violent taking of life (and degrading of living) by the means of forcible taking and degradation of life. The question raised then was that if life had been captured in the law, could it still be convincingly argued that the decision to take life was nevertheless outside the law?