International Criminal Justice
Show Less

International Criminal Justice

Legitimacy and Coherence

Edited by Gideon Boas, William A. Schabas and Michael P. Scharf

International criminal justice as a discipline throws up numerous conceptual issues, engaging disciplines such as law, politics, history, sociology and psychology, to name but a few. This book addresses themes around international criminal justice from a mixture of traditional and more radical perspectives.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details

Chapter 3: Making war crimes trials work – balancing fairness and expedition

Iain Bonomy

Extract

The author’s vision of justice in the arena of armed conflict was formed during his early years in cinemas showing a weekly diet of Westerns. Life was cheap; the good and the bad were clearly defined and distinguished; justice was exclusively the province of the white man; it was never administered by the Indian. The prisoner captured by the Indian had to be handed over for a fair trial under white man’s justice, and the lynch mob was kept at bay until the US Marshal arrived or a judge was brought in. Making these arrangements took a matter of days and the trials themselves never seemed very long. By the end of the film, the viewer was never in doubt that what had happened was fair and expeditious. Of course as a child the author had no refined notion of due process, but it was already in existence. Indeed, go back more than a century before these days of the American Wild West and there you will find in the United Kingdom discussion of mens rea and the burden of proof in terms which are readily understood today.1 Fast forward to the present day however, and relatively simple notions of what is fair come wrapped in layers of procedural complexity. The objectives of military action can be ill-defined – e.g. locating and disabling weapons of mass destruction, or regime change? The uncertainty over the objectives, one of which may be legitimate and the other not, seems almost designed to create confusion.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.


Further information

or login to access all content.