The Scene of the Mass Crime: History, Film, and International Tribunals

Routledge
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The Scene of the Mass Crime takes up the unwritten history of the peculiar yet highly visible form of war crimes trials. These trials are the first and continuing site of the interface of law, history and film. From Nuremberg to the contemporary trials in Cambodia, film, in particular, has been crucial both as evidence of atrocity and as the means of publicizing the proceedings. But what does film bring to justice? Can law successfully address war crimes, atrocities, genocide? What do the trials actually show? What form of justice is done, and how does it relate to ordinary courts and proceedings? What lessons can be drawn from this history for the very topical political issue of filming civil and criminal trials? This book takes up the diversity and complexity of these idiosyncratic and, in strict terms, generally extra-legal medial situations. Drawing on a fascinating diversity of public trials and filmic responses, from the Trial of the Gang of Four to the Gacaca local courts of Rwanda to the filmic symbolism of 9-11, from Soviet era show trials to Nazi People's Courts leading international scholars address the theatrical, political, filmic and symbolic importance of show trials in making history, legitimating regimes and, most surprising of all, in attempting to heal trauma through law and through film. These essays will be of considerable interest to those working on international criminal law, transitional justice, genocide studies, and the relationship between law and film.
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About the author

Peter Goodrich is Professor of Law and Director of the Program in Law and Humanities, Cardozo School of Law, New York. He has authored ten books on legal theory, psychoanalysis, law and the visual.

Christian Delage is a professor at the University of Paris 8. He also teaches at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales and at Sciences Po Paris, and is a regular professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Routledge
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Published on
May 7, 2013
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Pages
248
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ISBN
9781136330667
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Holocaust
History / Modern / General
History / World
Law / Courts
Law / Criminal Law / General
Law / General
Law / International
Law / Jurisprudence
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This content is DRM protected.
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Called a fig leaf for inaction by many at its inception, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia has surprised its critics by growing from an unfunded U.N. Security Council resolution to an institution with more than 1,000 employees and a $100 million annual budget. With Slobodan Milosevic now on trial and more than forty fellow indictees currently detained, the success of the Hague tribunal has forced many to reconsider the prospects of international justice. John Hagan's Justice in the Balkans is a powerful firsthand look at the inner workings of the tribunal as it has moved from an experimental organization initially viewed as irrelevant to the first truly effective international court since Nuremberg.

Creating an institution that transcends national borders is a challenge fraught with political and organizational difficulties, yet, as Hagan describes here, the Hague tribunal has increasingly met these difficulties head-on and overcome them. The chief reason for its success, he argues, is the people who have shaped it, particularly its charismatic chief prosecutor, Louise Arbour. With drama and immediacy, Justice in the Balkans re-creates how Arbour worked with others to turn the tribunal's fortunes around, reversing its initial failure to arrest and convict significant figures and advancing the tribunal's agenda to the point at which Arbour and her colleagues, including her successor, Carla Del Ponte (nicknamed the Bulldog), were able to indict Milosevic himself. Leading readers through the investigations and criminal proceedings of the tribunal, Hagan offers the most original account of the foundation and maturity of the institution.

Justice in the Balkans brilliantly shows how an international social movement for human rights in the Balkans was transformed into a pathbreaking legal institution and a new transnational legal field. The Hague tribunal becomes, in Hagan's work, a stellar example of how individuals working with collective purpose can make a profound difference.

"The Hague tribunal reaches into only one house of horrors among many; but, within the wisely precise remit given to it, it has beamed the light of justice into the darkness of man's inhumanity, to woman as well as to man."—The Times (London)
In the aftermath of the Second World War, the British military held 46 trials in Hong Kong in which 123 defendants, from Japan and Formosa (Taiwan), were tried for war crimes. This book provides the first comprehensive legal analysis of these trials. The subject matter of the trials spanned war crimes committed during the fall of Hong Kong, its occupation, and in the period after the capitulation following the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but before the formal surrender. They included killings of hors de combat, abuses in prisoner-of-war camps, abuse and murder of civilians during the military occupation, forced labour, and offences on the High Seas. The events adjudicated included those from Hong Kong, China, Japan, the High Seas, and Formosa (Taiwan). Taking place in the same historical period as the more famous Nuremberg and Tokyo trials, the Hong Kong war crimes trials provide key insights into events of the time, and the development of international criminal law and procedure in this period. A team of experts in international criminal law examine these trials in detail, placing them in their historical context, investigating how the courts conducted their proceedings and adjudicated acts alleged to be war crimes, and evaluating the extent to which the Hong Kong trials contributed to the development of contemporary issues, such as joint criminal enterprise and superior orders. There is also comparative analysis with contemporaneous proceedings, such as the Australian War Crimes trials, trials in China, and those conducted by the British in Singapore and Germany, placing them within the wider history of international justice. This book is essential reading for anyone interested in the development of international criminal law and procedure.
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Justice Anthony Kennedy slipped out of the Supreme Court building on June 27, 2018, and traveled incognito to the White House to inform President Donald Trump that he was retiring, setting in motion a political process that his successor, Brett Kavanaugh, would denounce three months later as a “national disgrace” and a “circus.”

Justice on Trial, the definitive insider’s account of Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court, is based on extraordinary access to more than one hundred key figures—including the president, justices, and senators—in that ferocious political drama.

The Trump presidency opened with the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to succeed the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. But the following year, when Trump drew from the same list of candidates for his nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, the justice being replaced was the swing vote on abortion, and all hell broke loose.

The judicial confirmation process, on the point of breakdown for thirty years, now proved utterly dysfunctional. Unverified accusations of sexual assault became weapons in a ruthless campaign of personal destruction, culminating in the melodramatic hearings in which Kavanaugh’s impassioned defense resuscitated a nomination that seemed beyond saving.

The Supreme Court has become the arbiter of our nation’s most vexing and divisive disputes. With the stakes of each vacancy incalculably high, the incentive to destroy a nominee is nearly irresistible. The next time a nomination promises to change the balance of the Court, Hemingway and Severino warn, the confirmation fight will be even uglier than Kavanaugh’s.

A good person might accept that nomination in the naïve belief that what happened to Kavanaugh won’t happen to him because he is a good person. But it can happen, it does happen, and it just happened. The question is whether America will let it happen again.
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