Patryk I. Labuda

Photo credit: International Nuremberg Principles Academy 2017

I am a research fellow on the 'Memocracy' project at the Polish Academy of Sciences. I was previously an Assistant Professor of (International) Criminal Law at the University of Amsterdam and a Fonds National Suisse postdoctoral fellow at the New York University School of Law, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and University of Zurich.

Specialized in international (criminal) law, human rights, and peace and security studies, I have fourteen years of work and research experience in Africa, with a regional focus on the law, politics and history of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Sudan and South Sudan. My current focus is on shifts in the global legal order and relations between the 'Global South' and 'Global East', especially Eastern Europe and Africa, in the wake of the Russo-Ukraine war. 

In addition to a book with Oxford University Press, my work has featured in the Yale Journal of International Law, Leiden Journal of International Law, European Journal of International Law, Journal of International Criminal Justice, Journal of Conflict and Security Law, Journal on the Use of Force and International Law, and leading academic presses (here). I am a regular contributor to mainstream and social media (here). 

Je travaille en français et en anglais

Wykładam po polsku. 

Follow my work on X (former Twitter).


Al Jazeera

Radio France Internationale

Just Security

Justice Info

My first book, International Criminal Tribunals & Domestic Accountability. In the Court's Shadow (OUP 2023), can be ordered at OUP and Amazon

More on the book's arguments at book project and a few blurbs:

'...deftly exposes the paradox of the increasing turn to domestic prosecutions of international crimes, which he argues may empower authoritarian elites... Labuda’s thoughtful book is a must read for anyone interested in the future of international criminal law.' 

Charles C. Jalloh, Distinguished University Professor, Florida International University

'In offering both broad historical context and fine-grained case study illustration, Labuda expands our understanding of complementarity in both theory and practice. Whatever one's opinion about the appropriate relationship between the International Criminal Court and national judiciaries, this book is an eye-opening and essential read.' 

Kim Thuy Seelinger, Research Associate Professor, Brown School, Washington University; Special Adviser on Sexual Violence in Conflict to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court

'a timely book...[that] assesses the relocation of the anti-impunity agenda closer to the locus of the crimes at the state level, and interrogates the important role that societal actors have to play in engaging national institutions in pursuing redress and accountability for atrocities. This is a superlative study that needs to be engaged with by analysts, policy-makers and practitioners of international criminal justice.' 

Tim Murithi, Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, Cape Town, Professor of African Studies, University of the Free State and Stellenbosch University in South Africa

'Labuda’s work is to law what Caravaggio’s chiaroscuro is to the canvas – Labuda illuminates, places candles in the darkness, and reveals what is obscured. This excellent book offers wise counsel about how international criminal law enforcement can combat the increasingly illiberal swagger of our political times.'

Mark A. Drumbl, Class of 1975 Alumni Professor of Law and Director, Transnational Law Institute Washington and Lee University

Double Standards and International Law, Workshop Berlin July 2024

The call for Papers is now closed.

Double standards are ubiquitous within the study and practice of international law. Examples abound as states speak abstractly about the need for accountability and their commitment to international law but in practice act inconsistently, for example, in applying human rights standards, combatting transnational and international crimes, or making and enforcing the rules that govern trade and development. As wars continue to grip parts of Africa, Europe, and the Middle East, many openly question or seek to remake features of the international system, resurrecting old and raising new challenges for global governance and multilateralism. With the United Nations, World Bank and other multilateral bodies struggling for legitimacy, and globalization increasingly associated with unequal outcomes, authoritarian governments and populist movements around the world have re-asserted their authority inter alia by challenging the legitimacy of the post-Second World War legal order. It is argued increasingly that a Western-dominated rules-based or liberal international order favors some over others, with expressions of double standards framed as hypocrisy, whataboutism, tu quoque arguments, or other variants of inconsistency between rhetoric and practice. Writing at the end of the Cold War, Thomas Franck observed famously that as international lawyers are freed from the constraints of defensive ontology, the most important question before them was whether international law could be fair. Thirty years later, despite the prevalence of double standards in international legal practice and the ubiquity of the perceived duplicity, there has been little treatment of how double standards operate in and impact international law. Yet it seems that double standards pose a risk to international law in new and notable ways that have largely gone unremarked in international legal scholarship.

This workshop seeks to foster debate about how double standards are expressed within international law and enhance understanding of how evidence of double standards impacts perceptions and practice. The organizers welcome papers that show the many ways that claims and evidence of double standards manifest in different forms of international legal argument, as well as time- and area-specific considerations of how double standards operate in different fields of international law. In particular, the workshop aims to clarify how accusations of double standards are formulated and perceived in various contexts and from various perspectives, including from the Global South(s), and how evidence of double standards can be analyzed from a cross-disciplinary angle, including through an empirical lens. This workshop aims to bring together scholars and practitioners, from various fields of international law and through divergent theoretical and geographical perspectives, to analyze how double standards manifest through international law and impact international legal practice.