Fellow’s new book explores development of legality and fair labelling in international criminal law

29 June 2022

A new book by Dr Talita Dias, our Shaw Foundation Junior Research Fellow in Law, explores how the principles of legality and fair labelling have developed in international criminal law, from Nuremberg to the International Criminal Court and beyond.

Beyond Imperfect Injustice: Legality and Fair Labelling in International Criminal Law‘ (Brill/Nijhoff) features a comprehensive survey of domestic and international case law, treaties, and other materials, carefully unpacking the different rationales and elements of each principle and the various rules to which they apply. It is based on Talita’s DPhil thesis, which was awarded the Special Mention of the English-Speaking René Cassin – International Institute of Human Rights 2020 Thesis Prize.

The book invites readers to revisit landmark cases, such as those involving atrocities in the Former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Darfur, Palestine, and Ukraine through a distinctive lens: the finding that all rules substantively affecting the human rights of the accused – from crimes and penalties to labels – must be sufficiently accessible and foreseeable to the ordinary person.


Talita’s academic research focuses on the international law and policy surrounding new technologies, including information and communications technologies, and artificial intelligence. Her research and policy work has covered a variety of topical issues ranging from disinformation and misinformation, online hate speech, propaganda, recommendation algorithms and harmful cyber operations, under different international and domestic legal frameworks. She is the principal investigator of two research projects: Just Speech (on the international law and policy of online hate speech) and Beat the Algorithm, which aims to design new regulatory and computational models for recommendation algorithms consistently with international human rights law.

Her previous research has been published, among others, in International Law Studies, the European Journal of International Law, the Journal of International Humanitarian Legal Studies, the Journal of International Criminal Justice (here and here), the Journal of Conflict and Security Law, the Human Rights Law Review, the Leiden Journal of International Law, and the International Criminal Law Review.

Stay tuned for the book’s official launch event to be hosted by the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict (ELAC) this coming October.