After a period of overwhelmingly doctrinal research following the establishment of international criminal justice institutions in the 1990s and early 2000s, international criminal law (icl) research has become increasingly self-reflexive and critical. However, the teaching practice of icl seems to have remained focused on a doctrinal analysis of statutes and the jurisprudence of international tribunals. This article discusses a possible way of incorporating the critical turn in icl scholarship into teaching, namely through a contextual perspective. In this perspective, the context of the substance, procedures, objectives, justifications and impacts of the field is foregrounded, instead of being presented as background beyond the scope of analysis. Discussing some of the potential benefits, challenges and downsides of teaching icl contextually, the article concludes that there is merit in adopting and further exploring this approach, among others to educate, and not only to train, the next generation(s) of icl experts.