The Future of War Crimes Justice (The FUTURES Series) (Paperback)

The Future of War Crimes Justice (The FUTURES Series) By Chris Stephen Cover Image
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From Russia to The Democratic Republic of Congo to Myanmar, Chris Stephen ponders the future of prosecuting war criminals who think themselves untouchable in this timely new book, part of Melville House FUTURES series.

We are all too familiar with the horrors of war. Throughout history, rules have been laid down to govern the conduct of war, with varying success. Today, the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Netherlands is the world's first permanent war crimes court, but since it opened in 2002, it has jailed just 4 people. So what has gone wrong?

Journalist and ex war-correspondent Chris Stephen takes a look at the colorful history of how war law was devised, asking complicated and important questions such as:

  • What constitutes a war crime?
  • How and when can the law step into prosecute?

Today, membership of the ICC is voluntary. Of the UN’s 193 member states, 123 are in the ICC. But most of the world’s war crimes are committed by the other 70. Simply put, governments that commit war crimes don’t join the ICC – like Russia, for example.

How then, do we go after war criminals? Follow the money, argues Stephen, and go after the banks and corporations that enable warlords. It worked for Al Capone, who, famously, was jailed not for his many killings, but for not paying his taxes. It was the same for Milosevic: years were spent gathering records, so judges could be shown he pulled the financial strings.

Corporations and banks, span the world. Democracies and dictators both rely on them. The future of war crime courts demand they hit all the enablers, whether they wear battle fatigues or three-piece suits.

About the Author

Chris Stephen has reported from nine wars for publications including The Guardian and The New York Times magazine. He writes on war crimes developments for journals including the International Institute for Strategic Studies and is author of Judgement Day: The Trial of Slobodan Milosevic, published by Atlantic Books. He lives in London.

Praise For…

'Provides a concise modern history – and offers suggestions for reform...the book constitutes a worthwhile introduction to the subject and should be commended according.' - The Law Society Gazette

'Books on law are usually a crime against reading; stodgy and incomprehensible to the lay reader. Not this one. Chris Stephen has pulled off a remarkable feat. He has written a book which is accessible, compelling, and required reading for all those interested in war crimes.' - Tim Judah, author of In Wartime: Stories from Ukraine

'Thought provoking and fascinating, Chris Stephen impressively explains the history and possible future of war crimes and their prosecution in a comprehensive and user-friendly way. A must read.' - William Clegg KC, author of Under the Wig: A Lawyer's Stories of Murder, Guilt and Innocence

Product Details
ISBN: 9781685891190
ISBN-10: 1685891195
Publisher: Melville House
Publication Date: March 12th, 2024
Pages: 144
Language: English
Series: The FUTURES Series