This socio-legal study of the international criminal justice system is informed by the writings of Émile Durkheim, one of the founding fathers of (legal) sociology. On the basis of a comprehensive review of primary sources and recent developments in secondary writings, Durkheim''s understanding of criminal law and its sanctioning process are reconstructed. The analysis reveals the connection of international criminal law to Durkheim''s vision of the cult of the individual. The functions international criminal tribunals perform are discussed and the conclusion asserts that these cannot be adequately appraised with regard to effects on individuals or nation-states but only with regard to an emerging global society. This highly original investigation is a demonstration of the enduring relevance of Durkheim''s oeuvre and a contribution to the developing diversification of theoretical perspectives on international criminal law. As such it will prove to be a reliable resource for the international criminal lawyer in search for alternative analytical approaches.