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Collected Edition

The Punishment of Serious Crimes : A comparative analysis of sentencing law and practice : Vol. 1: Expert Report


Sieber,  Ulrich
Criminal Law, Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law, Max Planck Society;

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Sieber, U. (Ed.). (2004). The Punishment of Serious Crimes: A comparative analysis of sentencing law and practice: Vol. 1: Expert Report. Freiburg i. Br.: edition iuscrim.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002E-4D2F-8
This two-volume publication contains the Expert Report and the annexed country reports cited in the Dragan Nikolic judgment delivered on 18 December 2003 by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). In this case, the commander of a detention camp in Bosnia pleaded guilty to numerous crimes committed in 1992. Among other offences, he admitted to murdering detainees by means of severe physical abuse or simply by shooting them, to torturing detainees by beating them with axe handles and iron bars, and to allowing women to be taken out of the camp and subjected to sexual assaults, including rape. In its pursuit of a just punishment in this case, the Dragan Nikolic sentencing judgment has become a milestone in the jurisprudence of international sentencing. With a view towards both comparative and criminological methods, the ICTY approached Prof. Dr. Ulrich Sieber with a request to address in an expert report questions such as: What would the applicable sentencing range be if the accused had been sentenced according to the criminal laws of the various republics of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY)? What would the corresponding sentencing ranges be in other European and non-European countries for the serious crimes to which the accused peaded gulity? To what extent would the accused's guilty plea be considered a mitigating factor in the sentencing of serious crimes in each of the legal systems considered? And: What concrete sentences would judges on the territory of the former SFRY impose today on the basis of current law? For the analysis of international sentencing law and sentencing practice, Prof. Sieber and his collaborators at the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law carried out in-depth research on the legal situation between 1992 and 2003 in the states on the territory of the former Yugoslavia. In addition, the researchers conducted interviews with judges from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, and Montenegro. With respect to sentencing law in other parts of the world, 23 country reports were specifically prepared for this study, dealing primarily with legal systems in Europe, but also with countries in North and South America, Australia, Asia, and Africa.