War Crimes: Confronting Atrocity in the Modern World

By David Chuter | Go to book overview

About the Book

War crimes typically are discussed in sensational terms or in the dry language of international law. In contrast, David Chuter brings clarity to this complex subject, exploring why atrocities occur and what can be done to identify perpetrators and bring them to justice.

Chuter confronts the real horror of the murder, rape, and torture that are subsumed under the dispassionate phrase “serious violations of international humanitarian law.” But his discerning analysis also situates war crimes in their historical and cultural context—acknowledging the social and cultural mind-sets that allow them to happen—and discusses the political and policy issues surrounding them. Offering a nuanced typology of war crimes and a thoughtful discussion of the laws relating to them, War Crimes also grapples with such troubling questions as whether the outcomes of tribunals can come close to “the truth”—and whether they can help to prevent atrocities in the future.

Working for the British Ministry of Defence, David Chuter has had responsibility for Balkans war crimes issues and support to the International Criminal Tribunal in the Hague. He is author of Humanity's Soldier: France and International Security, 1919–2001, and Defence Transformation: A Short Guide to the Issues.

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War Crimes: Confronting Atrocity in the Modern World
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • War Crimes - Confronting Atrocity in the Modern World iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • War Crimes xi
  • Introduction: A Grave in the Air 1
  • 1: The Basics 5
  • 2: The Origins 29
  • 3: The Law 59
  • 4: The Politics 93
  • 5: The Organization 131
  • 6: The Investigation 149
  • 7: The Arrest 187
  • 8: The Trial 203
  • 9: The Truth? 225
  • 10: The Future: Never Again? 255
  • Bibliography 281
  • Index 287
  • About the Book 299
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