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From Sovereign Impunity to International Accountability

The Search for Justice in a World of States

Edited by Ramesh Thakur and Peter Malcontent

This book explores the progress, scope, and controversies of holding political leaders accountable for international crimes. “The last century has seen the role of law and justice in governance extend beyond the realm of individual nations. Its significance, both regionally and globally, is illustrated by the developments made in international law, especially with regard to the recognition of international human rights, universal jurisdiction, and additional international crimes. However, the significant advances with regard to the international recognition of humanitarian law and the ending of impunity for war criminals stand in real danger of being reversed?” —From the foreword by Justice Richard J. Goldstone ” The way from the opening of a mass grave to proving a political leader responsible is long and complex, and success is by no means ensured. In cases like this, a criminal trial may not always provide the best instrument for memory and healing—especially if the leader must be released because of the lack of formal evidence. On the other hand, if releasing the leader is excluded at the outset, then the legitimacy of the trial may be questioned…” —From the Preface by Martti Ahtisaari

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