The Witnesses: War Crimes and the Promise of Justice in The Hague

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Overview

In recent years, the world community has demonstrated a renewed commitment to the pursuit of international criminal justice. In 1993, the United Nations established two ad hoc international tribunals to try those responsible for genocide and crimes against humanity in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. Ten years later, the International Criminal Court began its operations and is developing prosecutions in its first two cases (Congo and Uganda). Meanwhile, national and hybrid war crimes tribunals have been established in Sierra Leone, Kosovo, Serbia and Montenegro, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, East Timor, Indonesia, Iraq, and Cambodia.

Thousands of people have given testimony before these courts. Most have witnessed war crimes, including mass killings, torture, rape, inhumane imprisonment, forced expulsion, and the destruction of homes and villages. For many, testifying in a war crimes trial requires great courage, especially as they are well aware that war criminals still walk the streets of their villages and towns. Yet despite these risks, little attention has been paid to the fate of witnesses of mass atrocity. The first study of victims and witnesses who have testified before an international war crimes tribunal, The Witnesses examines the opinions and attitudes of eighty-seven individuals-Bosnians, Muslims, Serbs, and Croats-who have appeared before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

About the Author:
Eric Stover is Faculty Director of the Human Rights Center and Adjunct Professor of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"An outstanding book."β€”H-Net Reviews

"Stover's important study illuminates new terrain and provides a valuable tool for evaluating and improving the performance of the international human rights courts that emerged in the 1990s. . . . Highly recommended."β€”Choice

"The Witnesses is clearly an important work. . . . Stover's interviews are often riveting, punctuated with critical evaluative and emotional voices of simple people describing unspeakable hardship. The author's compelling presentation succeeds where no structured randomized sample would shed light, namely, in demonstrating the very human moral sensitivities of the respondents as they talk about their family tragedies, their self-styled moral duty to testify on behalf of the dead, their aspirations for justice, and their disappointments."β€”Richard Pierre Claude, Professor Emeritus, University of Maryland

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812238907
  • Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/25/2005
  • Series: Pennsylvania Studies in Human Rights
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric Stover is Faculty Director of the Human Rights Center and Adjunct Professor of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of numerous books, including Witnesses from the Grave: The Stories Bones Tell (with Christopher Joyce), and editor of The Breaking of Bodies and Minds: Torture, Psychiatric Abuse, and the Health Professions (with Elena O. Nightingale).
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Table of Contents


Preface     ix
Introduction: The Pursuit of Justice     1
Witnesses in the System     17
The Tribunal     33
Crimes and Consequences     51
Bearing Witness     71
Returning Home     92
Justice and Reconciliation     110
Conclusion     126
Survey Questionnaire     155
Victims' Rights and the International Criminal Court     159
Notes     187
Selected Bibliography     213
Index     219
Acknowledgments     229
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