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From events at Nuremberg and Tokyo after World War II, to the recent trials of Slobodan Milošević and Saddam Hussein, war crimes trials are an increasingly pervasive feature of the aftermath of conflict. In his new book, Law, War and Crime, Gerry Simpson explores the meaning and effect of such trials, and places them in their broader political and cultural contexts. The book traces the development of the war crimes field from its origins in the outlawing of piracy to its contemporary manifestation in the establishment of the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Simpson argues that the field of war crimes is constituted by a number of tensions between, for example, politics and law, local justice and cosmopolitan reckoning, collective guilt and individual responsibility, and between the instinct that war, at worst, is an error and the conviction that war is a crime. Written in the wake of an extraordinary period in the life of the law, the book asks a number of critical questions. What does it mean to talk about war in the language of the criminal law? What are the consequences of seeking to criminalise the conduct of one's enemies? How did this relatively new phenomenon of putting on trial perpetrators of mass atrocity and defeated enemies come into existence? This book seeks to answer these important questions whilst shedding new light on the complex relationship between law, war and crime.
The aim of this new collection of essays is to engage in analysis beyond the familiar victor’s justice critiques. The editors have drawn on authors from across the world — including Australia, Japan, China, France, Korea, New Zealand and the United Kingdom — with expertise in the fields of international humanitarian law, international criminal law, Japanese studies, modern Japanese history, and the use of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. The diverse backgrounds of the individual authors allow the editors to present essays which provide detailed and original analyses of the Tokyo Trial from legal, philosophical and historical perspectives.
With the sensational arrest of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in 1998, the rise to prominence of universal jurisdiction over crimes against international law seemed to be assured. The arrest of Pinochet and the ensuing proceedings before the UK courts brought universal jurisdiction into the foreground of the "fight against impunity" and the principle was read as an important complementary mechanism for international justice –one that could offer justice to victims denied an avenue by the limited jurisdiction of international criminal tribunals. Yet by the time of the International Court of Justice’s Arrest Warrant judgment four years later, the picture looked much bleaker and the principle was being read as a potential tool for politically motivated trials. This book explores the debate over universal jurisdiction in international criminal law, aiming to unpack a practice in which international lawyers continue to disagree over the concept of universal jurisdiction. Using Martti Koskenniemi’s work as a foil, this book exposes the argumentative techniques in operation in national and international adjudication since the 1990s. Drawing on overarching patterns within the debate, Aisling O’Sullivan argues that it is bounded by a tension between contrasting political preferences or positions, labelled as moralist ("ending impunity") and formalist ("avoiding abuse") and she reads the debate as a movement of hegemonic and counter-hegemonic positions that struggle for hegemonic control. However, she draws out how these positions (moralist/formalist) merge into one another and this produces a tendency towards a "middle" position that continues to prefer a particular preference (moralist or formalist). Aisling O’Sullivan then traces the transformation towards this tendency that reflects an internal split among international lawyers between building a utopia ("court of humanity") and recognizing its impossibility of being realized.
Despite the growth in international criminal courts and tribunals, the majority of cases concerning international criminal law are prosecuted at the domestic level. This means that both international and domestic courts have to contend with a plethora of relevant, but often contradictory, judgments by international institutions and by other domestic courts. This book provides a detailed investigation into the impact this pluralism has had on international criminal law and procedure, and examines the key problems which arise from it. The work identifies the various interpretations of the concept of pluralism and discusses how it manifests in a broad range of aspects of international criminal law and practice. These include substantive jurisdiction, the definition of crimes, modes of individual criminal responsibility for international crimes, sentencing, fair trial rights, law of evidence, truth-finding, and challenges faced by both international and domestic courts in gathering, testing and evaluating evidence. Authored by leading practitioners and academics in the field, the book employs pluralism as a methodological tool to advance the debate beyond the classic view of 'legal pluralism' leading to a problematic fragmentation of the international legal order. It argues instead that pluralism is a fundamental and indispensable feature of international criminal law which permeates it on several levels: through multiple legal regimes and enforcement fora, diversified sources and interpretations of concepts, and numerous identities underpinning the law and practice. The book addresses the virtues and dangers of pluralism, reflecting on the need for, and prospects of, harmonization of international criminal law around a common grammar. It ultimately brings together the theories of legal pluralism, the comparative law discourse on legal transplants, harmonization, and convergence, and the international legal debate on fragmentation to show where pluralism and divergence will need to be accepted as regular, and even beneficial, features of international criminal justice.
This book explores the promises and limitations of holding individuals accountable for violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. It analyses the principal crimes under international law, such as genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes, and appraises both prosecutorial and other key mechanisms developed to bring individuals to justice. After applying their conclusions in a detailed case study, the authors offer a series of compelling conclusions on the prospects for accountability. This fully updated new edition contains expanded coverage of national trials under universal jurisdiction, international criminal tribunals including the International Criminal Court, new hybrid tribunals in Cambodia and elsewhere, truth commissions, and lustration. It also explores individual accountability for terrorist acts and for abuses committed in the name of counter-terrorism policy.
Events: The Force of International Law presents an analysis of international law, centred upon those historical and recent events in which international law has exerted, or acquired, its force. From Spanish colonization and the Peace of Westphalia, through the release of Nelson Mandela and the Rwandan genocide, and to recent international trade negotiations and the 'torture memos', each chapter in this book focuses on a specific international legal event. Short and accessible to the non-specialist reader, these chapters consider what forces are put into play when international law is invoked, as it is so frequently today, by lawyers, laypeople, or leaders. At the same time, they also reflect on what is entailed in naming these ‘events’ of international law and how international law grapples with their disruptive potential. Engaging economic, military, cultural, political, philosophical and technical fields, Events: The Force of International Law will be of interest to international lawyers and scholars of international relations, legal history, diplomatic history, war and/or peace studies, and legal theory. It is also intended to be read and appreciated by anyone familiar with appeals to international law from the general media, and curious about the limits and possibilities occasioned, or the forces mobilised, by that appeal.
This Festschrift, edited by Professors Suzannah Linton, Gerry Simpson and William Schabas, brings together forty-one distinguished experts to honour Professor Roger Stenson Clark s remarkable contribution to International Law."

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