Please note that the content and the inspiration for this LibGuide tab are thanks to Dr Marco Rimanelli, Professor of Political Science and International Relations. [PowerPoint Presentation: May 7, 2012, Social Justice Across the Curriculum]
A government's abuse of its own citizens can cause ethnic conflicts, undermine norms and threaten the security of the international community.
In 1948 the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It does not have the strength of international law but creates the basis for treaties and new humanitarian law.
Nuremberg, Germany, 1945-1949
Tokyo, Japan, 1946-1948
The International Court of Justice -- also known as the World Court -- is the judicial arm of the United Nations. From its seat at the Peace Palace in The Hague, the Court hears cases brought before it by UN member states.
15 judges on nine-year terms
Selected by the UN General Assembly and the Security Council by majority vote
If the country whose case is discussed does not have a judge, one is added
Judgments are made in absentia
Scholarly legal basis for international law
“Crimes against international law are committed by men, not by abstract entities, and only by punishing individuals who commit such crimes can the provisions of international law be enforced.” [International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg]
Focus of International Crimes Tribunals:
•To see that justice prevails;
•To remove feelings of collective guilt ;
ethnic cleansing, the attempt to create ethnically homogeneous geographic areas through the deportation or forcible displacement of persons belonging to particular ethnic groups. Ethnic cleansing sometimes involves the removal of all physical vestiges of the targeted group through the destruction of monuments, cemeteries, and houses of worship. The targeting of civilian casualties and the destruction of civilian infrastructure are not simply by-products of war, but the consequence of the deliberate targeting of non-combatants….
Britannica Online Academic Edition
“You will never see the source of a genocide. It is buried too deep in grudges, under an accumulation of misunderstandings that we were the last to inherit. We came of age in the worst moment of Rwanda’s history: we were taught to obey absolutely, raised in hatred, stuffed with slogans. We are an unfortunate generation.”