Unimaginable Atrocities: Justice, Politics, and Rights at the War Crimes Tribunals

Paperback | February 28, 2014

byWilliam Schabas

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As international criminal courts and tribunals have proliferated and international criminal law is increasingly seen as a key tool for bringing the world's worst perpetrators to account, the controversies surrounding the international trials of war criminals have grown. War crimes tribunalshave to deal with accusations of victors' justice, bad prosecutorial policy and case management, and of jeopardizing fragile peace in post-conflict situations. In this exceptional book, one of the leading writers in the field of international criminal law explores these controversial issues in amanner that is accessible both to lawyers and to general readers.Professor William Schabas begins by considering the discipline of international criminal law, outlining the differing approaches to the description of international crimes and examining the frequent claims relating to the retroactive application of these crimes. The book then discusses therelationship between genocide and crimes against humanity, studying the fascination with what Schabas calls the 'genocide mystique'. International criminal tribunals have often been stigmatized as an exercise in victors' justice. This book traces how this critique developed and the difficulty itposes to the identification of situations for prosecution by the International Criminal Court. The claim that amnesty for international crimes is prohibited by international law is challenged, with a more nuanced approach to the relationship between justice and peace being proposed. Throughout thebook there is a strong historical perspective, with constant reference to the early experiments in international justice at Nuremberg and Tokyo. The work also analyses the growing pains of the International Criminal Court as it enters its second decade.

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As international criminal courts and tribunals have proliferated and international criminal law is increasingly seen as a key tool for bringing the world's worst perpetrators to account, the controversies surrounding the international trials of war criminals have grown. War crimes tribunalshave to deal with accusations of victors' just...

Professor William A. Schabas is professor of international law at Middlesex University in London. He also has appointments at the National University of Ireland Galway, where he is professor of human rights law, at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, in Beijing, as honorary professor, Kellogg College of the University of Oxford, w...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:February 28, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198712952

ISBN - 13:9780198712954

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. 'Unimaginable Atrocities': Identifying International Crimes2. Nullum Crimen Sine Lege3. Victors' Justice? Selecting Targets for Prosecution4. The Genocide Mystique5. Mens Rea, Actus Reus, and the Role of the State6. History, International Justice, and the Right to Truth7. No Peace Without Justice? The Amnesty Quandary8. Crimes Against Peace

Editorial Reviews

`Insightfully explain[s] the conceptual foundations and prospective paths for an international criminal judiciary. Schabas' book reveals once more that international criminal law is shaped by a complex relationship of policy and law, which unfortunately can only partly prevent war crimes whileinfluencing how humanity confronts unimaginable atrocities.'Martin Wahlisch, ASIL Cables