About | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline

2 J. Int'l Crim. Just. 541 (2004)
The Failings of Ad Hoc International Tribunals

handle is hein.journals/jicj2 and id is 555 raw text is: The Failings of Ad Hoc
International Tribunals
Ralph Zacklin*
1. The Current Proliferation of International Criminal
From the vantage point of late 2003, it is easy to forget the doubts and skepticism that
greeted the establishment of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former
Yugoslavia (ICTY) in 1993. Within one decade, the notion that crimes such as
genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and grave breaches of the Geneva
Conventions can forever remain beyond the reach of international law has been
severely challenged. A new culture of human rights and human responsibility, in
which there can be no impunity for such crimes, has gradually taken root and the link
between an established system of individual accountability and the maintenance of
international peace and security has been confirmed.
Today, in addition to the ICTY, we find international tribunals of one variety or
another prosecuting and judging serious crimes that have taken place in Rwanda,
Sierra Leone, Kosovo and East Timor. An Extraordinary Chamber of the Cambodian
judiciary will possibly begin work in 2004 and the International Criminal Court (ICC)
will launch its first investigations and prosecutions.
Looking back, the question is, why did it take so long to reach this, as yet, imperfect
point? Why did Nuremberg and Tokyo enter the realm of history rather than lend
themselves immediately to the progressive development and codification of inter-
national criminal law? For generations after World War II, the promotion of an
international criminal court remained the province of a handful of academics and
human rights activists, who were generally perceived as marginal and quixotic. The
legal and political problems were deemed to be insurmountable. States would not
surrender their sovereignty to an international court and, in any event, there was no
international criminal code on the basis of which such a court could function.
Nuremberg and Tokyo remained cloistered in the historical memory as examples of
victor's justice and the world moved on, preoccupied by the cold war, decolonization
and the threat of nuclear extinction.
Assistant Secretary-General for Legal Affairs, United Nations. The statements contained herein reflect
the personal views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations.
Journal of International Criminal justice 2 (2004), 541-545
Tournal of International Criminal justice 2. 2 © Oxford Universitv Press. 2104. All rights reserved

What Is HeinOnline?

HeinOnline is a subscription-based resource containing thousands of academic and legal journals from inception; complete coverage of government documents such as U.S. Statutes at Large, U.S. Code, Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, U.S. Reports, and much more. Documents are image-based, fully searchable PDFs with the authority of print combined with the accessibility of a user-friendly and powerful database. For more information, request a quote or trial for your organization below.

Short-term subscription options include 24 hours, 48 hours, or 1 week to HeinOnline.

Contact us for annual subscription options:

Already a HeinOnline Subscriber?

profiles profiles most