Justice in a Time of War: The True Story Behind the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

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Overview

Can we achieve justice during war? Should law substitute for realpolitik? Can an international court act against the global community that created it?

Justice in a Time of War is a translation from the French of the first complete, behind-the-scenes story of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, from its proposal by Balkan journalist Mirko Klarin through recent developments in the first trial of its ultimate quarry, Slobodan Miloševic. It is also a meditation on the conflicting intersection of law and politics in achieving justice and peace.

Le Monde’s review (November 3, 2000) of the original edition recommended Hazan’s book as a nuanced account of the Tribunal that should be a must-read for the new president of Yugoslavia. “The story Pierre Hazan tells is that of an institution which, over the course of the years, has managed to escape in large measure from the initial hidden motives and manipulations of those who created it (not only the Americans).”

With insider interviews filling out every scene, author Pierre Hazan tells a chaotic story of war while the Western powers cobbled together a tribunal in order to avoid actual intervention, hoping to threaten international criminals with indictment and thereby to force an untenable peace. The international lawyers and judges for this rump world court started with nothing—no office space, no assistants, no computers, not even a budget—but they ultimately established the tribunal as an unavoidable actor in the Balkans. This development was also a reflection of the evolving political situation: the West had created the Tribunal in 1993 as an alibi in order to avoid military intervention, but in 1999, the Tribunal suddenly became useful to NATO countries as a means by which to criminalize Miloševic’s regime and to justify military intervention in Kosovo and in Serbia. Ultimately, this hastened the end of Miloševic’s rule and led the way to history’s first war crimes trial of a former president by an international tribunal.

Ironically, this triumph for international law was not really intended by the Western leaders who created the court. They sought to placate, not shape, public opinion. But the determination of a handful of people working at the Tribunal transformed it into an active agent for change, paving the road for the International Criminal Court and greatly advancing international criminal law. Yet the Tribunal’s existence poses as many questions as it answers. How independent can a U.N. Tribunal be from the political powers that created it and sustain it politically and financially ?

Hazan remains cautious though optimistic for the future of international justice. His history remains a cautionary tale to the reader: realizing ideals in a world enamored of realpolitik is a difficult and often haphazard activity.

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Editorial Reviews

Antonio Cassese
"This is no doubt one of the best books so far written on international criminal justice. It is uniquely insightful and written in a lively style. In particular, Hazan’s account of the birth of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, of its initial almost insurmountable obstacles, of some of its most interesting trials, and of how Prosecutor Arbour came to indict Milosevic, is really compelling. But the book is not only a sharp account of recent and current international events. It also contains some deep reflections on the complex relations between justice, diplomacy and world politics. Every person interested in international relations and world politics should read it."—Antonio Cassese, former Judge and President, International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY)
International Journal of Legal Information
"Pierre Hazan...has written an emotional and engaging account on the development of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia...Pierre Hazan’s work provides an interesting and engaging account on the creation and works of this international tribunal. The book is blunt, emotional, and well documented in order to provide its readers with the ultimate understanding for the existence of this court."
Times Literary Supplement
. . . gripping reading . . . Hazan vividly depicts the powerful forces allied against the Court. (Times Literary Supplement)
Library Journal
The International Criminal Court, now sitting at the Hague hearing cases from the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s, is the first such tribunal in 60 years. Hazan, a journalist with Lib ration in Paris, tells its story from the first UN Security Council resolution in 1993 to the continuing trial of Slobodan Milosevic. In his view, a few determined individuals have pushed and prodded and tested the limits of their authority to force progress on a reluctant tribunal. Throughout, the author is sharply critical of the Western governments for their persistent efforts to negotiate ceasefire settlements with those they are now trying to indict, their failure to provide any support or funding for the tribunal, and their efforts to avoid intervention on the ground despite additional casualties and suffering. The story of ethnic cleansing in the Balkans is well told in Elizabeth Neuffer's Key to My Neighbor's House. The tension between intervention and a law-based resolution of the conflict emerges clearly here. The strident tone may offend some readers, but the points here need to be made. Most suitable for academic and law libraries.-Marcia L. Sprules, Council on Foreign Relations Lib., New York Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

The author Pierre Hazan is a journalist with Libération in Paris and Le Temps in Geneva. He has covered The Hague and Arusha war crimes tribunals in addition to the conflict in the Balkans and Rwanda. He also covered many international crises in Afghanistan, Iraq, Cambodia, Sudan, the Middle East, and Somalia and is currently a U.N. correspondent in Geneva. The author of three books, he has studied at the Center for Strategic Studies at Aberdeen University and the Post-Graduate Institute for International Studies in Geneva.James Thomas Snyder, who translated the book, is a journalist and former U.S. Congressional aide.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Introduction : the theater of truth 3
1 A time of alibis 7
2 Guerrilla diplomacy : America versus Europe 26
3 A tribunal nearly stillborn 43
4 A court put to the test 64
5 Tribunal of the word 76
6 The quest for independence 90
7 The international court on the spot 112
8 The interminable trial of Slobodan Milosevic 148
9 A court standing above it all 176
App Amended statute of the International Tribunal 203
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