International justice for international crimes: an idea whose time has come

Schabas, William A. ORCID logoORCID: (2006) International justice for international crimes: an idea whose time has come. European Review, 14 (4) . pp. 421-439. ISSN 1062-7987 [Article] (doi:10.1017/S1062798706000469)


International criminal justice really began at Nuremberg in 1945, after an inauspicious start at Versailles in 1919. But little happened during the Cold War, and only in the 1990s, driven by a human rights movement that had refocused its energy on the rights of victims and concerns about impunity and accountability, did the efforts revive. The United Nations pioneered the activity, with three ad hoc tribunals. In 2002, a permanent institution, the International Criminal Court, began its operations. Concerns about the fairness of such proceedings have featured since the earliest days. In balance, both Nuremberg and its modern-day successors deliver acceptable judgments from a due process standpoint, although problems remain. Also troubling is an emphasis on convictions based upon paradigms that approach vicarious liability. This enhances the probability of conviction, but weakens the stigma of guilt and ultimately compromises the historical legacy. There is also a recent tendency to focus upon non-state actors, prosecuting rebels and terrorists rather than crimes of state.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Law and Politics
Item ID: 7710
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Depositing User: Devika Mohan
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2011 05:49
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2019 12:20

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