Document Type


Publication Date



When Laura Dickinson asked me to participate on this panel, she very nicely said that she hoped I could bring a different perspective to the discussion. I thought I knew what she meant. The other panelists share a profound knowledge of how international criminal-law institutions work. My "different perspective" would therefore be the perspective of abject ignorance.

Taking comfort from the Socratic dictum that there is wisdom in knowing what you do not know, I accepted the invitation because it gives me the opportunity to pose questions rather than proposing answers. I will raise my questions by examining some stories - what the late Robert Cover called Folktales of Justice - about the nature of legal institutions, in order to tease out some understanding of their aims. It is, after all, folktales and myths (even more than arguments) that reflect the moral intuitions that stand at the base of all legal institutions.

Publication Citation

98 Am. Soc'y Int'l L. Proc. 182-185 (2004)