International Justice and the International Criminal Court: Between Sovereignty and the Rule of Law

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Oxford University Press, 2003 - Law - 215 pages
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Since the Nuremberg Trials of top Nazi leaders following the Second World War, international law has affirmed that no-one, whatever their rank or office, is above accountability for their crimes. Yet the Cold War put geopolitical agendas ahead of effective action against war crimes and major human rights abuses, and no permanent system to address impunity was put in place. It was only with the Cold War's end that governments turned again to international institutions to address impunity, first by establishing International Criminal Tribunals to prosecute genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, and then by adopting the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court in 1998. Domestic courts also assumed a role, notably through extradition proceedings against former Chilean President Augusto Pinochet in London, then in Belgium, Senegal, and elsewhere. At the same time, as some have announced a new era in the international community's response to atrocities, fundamental tensions persist between the immediate State interests and the demands of justice.
This book is about those tensions. It reviews the rapid recent development of international criminal law, and explores solutions to key problems of official immunities, universal jurisdiction, the International Criminal Court, and the stance of the United States, seeking to clarify how justice can best be done in a system of sovereign States. Whilst neither the end of the Cold War nor the 'decline of sovereignty' in themselves make consistent justice more likely, the ICC may encourage a culture of accountability that will support more regular enforcement of international criminal law in the long term.

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About the author (2003)

Bruce Broomhall is Assistant Professor of International Law at Central EuropeanUniversity in Budapest, Hungary, as well as Senior Legal Officer for InternationalJustice at the Open Society Institute. From 1999 - 2002 he was Director of theInternational Justice Program at the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights in New YorkCity. He attended the 1998 Rome Diplomatic Conference on the Establishment of theInternational Criminal Court on behalf of the International Centre for Criminal LawReform and Criminal Justice Policy in Vancouver, Canada, worked with ProfessorCherif Bassiouni on developing a framework for national implementation of the ICCStatute, and lectured on public international law at King's College London Schoolof Law. He has published commentaries on selected articles of the Rome Statute,documents on its incorporation into national law, and several law review articles.

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