Trials for International Crimes in Asia

Cambridge University Press
Free sample

The issue of international crimes is highly topical in Asia, with still-resonant claims against the Japanese for war crimes, and deep schisms resulting from crimes in Bangladesh, Cambodia, and East Timor. Over the years, the region has hosted a succession of tribunals, from those held in Manila, Singapore and Tokyo after the Asia-Pacific War to those currently running in Dhaka and Phnom Penh. This book draws on extensive new research and offers the first comprehensive legal appraisal of the Asian trials. As well as the famous tribunals, it also considers lesser-known examples, such as the Dutch and Soviet trials of the Japanese, the Cambodian trial of the Khmer Rouge, and the Indonesian trials of their own military personnel. It focuses on their approach to the elements of international crimes, and their contribution to general theories of liability. In the process, this book challenges some orthodoxies about the development of international criminal law.
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About the author

Kirsten Sellars is Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Law at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Cambridge University Press
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Published on
Oct 22, 2015
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Pages
372
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ISBN
9781316453681
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Asia / General
Law / Criminal Law / General
Law / General
Law / International
Law / Legal History
Political Science / International Relations / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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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 tribunals have 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 a manner 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 the relationship 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 it poses 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 the book 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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