Until recently, and with a few notable exceptions in the wake of World War II, violations of the laws of war and international humanitarian law were addressed primarily as claims between states. However, this approach has changed radically in the last twenty years, as the international community has increasingly accepted the idea of individual criminal responsibility for violations of international humanitarian law. The International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda have played a key role in this transformation and, as the trailblazers for a growing number of new international or hybrid criminal courts, in establishing the field of international criminal justice and encouraging the national prosecution of war crimes. Understanding the Tribunals' origins, their ground-breaking jurisprudence, and how they have addressed critical legal and practical challenges is essential to understanding both the revolution that has occurred over the past twenty years and how international criminal law will change and grow in the years ahead.
As a leading scholar on humanitarian law, and President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Theodor Meron has observed and influenced the development of international criminal law as it has evolved from a mostly academic exercise to a cornerstone of the new international legal order. In this collection of speeches delivered during his first decade on the bench, he offers an insightful overview of the foundations of international criminal law as well as a unique insider's perspective on the challenges faced by international criminal tribunals, their creation of a corpus of substantive and procedural law, and the responsibilities of international jurists. Judge Meron's experience in international criminal justice makes this volume as rewarding for experts as it is for the general public.
Since his election to the Tribunal by the U.N. General Assembly in March 2001, Judge Meron has served on the Appeals Chamber, which hears appeals from both the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). Between March 2003 and November 2005 he served as President of the Tribunal, and was re-elected to this position in October 2011. A leading scholar of international humanitarian law, human rights, and international criminal law, Judge Meron wrote some of the books and articles that helped build the legal foundations for international criminal tribunals. A Shakespeare enthusiast, he has also written articles and books on the laws of war and chivalry in Shakespeare's historical plays.
INTRODUCTION; PART I: HUMANITARIAN LAW AND HUMAN RIGHTS LAW: EVOLVING BODIES OF LAW; PART II: THE RISE OF INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL TRIBUNALS; PART III: INTERNATIONAL CRIMES AND JURISPRUDENCE OF INTERNATIONAL COURTS; PART IV: RESPONSIBILITY AND THE ROLE OF THE JUDGE; EPILOGUE