Simpson argues that the field of war crimes is constituted by a
number of tensions between, for example, politics and law, local
justice and cosmopolitan reckoning, collective guilt and individual
responsibility, and between the instinct that war, at worst, is an
error and the conviction that war is a crime.
Written in the wake of an extraordinary period in the life of the law, the book asks a number of critical questions. What does it mean to talk about war in the language of the criminal law? What are the consequences of seeking to criminalise the conduct of one's enemies? How did this relatively new phenomenon of putting on trial perpetrators of mass atrocity and defeated enemies come into existence? This book seeks to answer these important questions whilst shedding new light on the complex relationship between law, war and crime.
* Exam copies only available to lecturers for whom the book may be suitable as a course text.
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"A fresh addition to the vast literature on international
criminal law precisely because it comprehensively addresses the
structural tendencies that characterize international criminal
Finnish Yearbook of International Law
"Offers a significant contribution to the globally important
subject of international criminal law by exploring the tensions
prevalent in international trials ... it is well written and
provides unique insight into considerably challenging
Political Studies Review
"Opens one's eyes to the use and abuse of criminal law in the
context of international politics and war."
Law Institute Journal
"This is an outstanding book that is a must read for anyone
interested in international criminal tribunals. It is sophisticated
and erudite in its analysis, beautifully written, concise yet
supported with detailed research and well timed."
Alex Bellamy, University of Queensland
"Law, War and Crime is a substantial scholarly
achievement, and I hope it will be politically influential, not so
much for any specific position the book espouses, but for its
sophistication, care and humanity. Gerry Simpson has lawyerly
intellectual virtues that are sorely needed by the international
community as it begins to institutionalize criminal law. Simpson
writes with discipline instead of mere fervor, and skillfully
mediates between factual detail and grand theme. Rarest of all,
Simpson understands that unresolvable arguments create discursive
spaces where politics, including law, can happen. Bravo!"
David A. Westbrook, University at Buffalo Law School
"Masterfully written, and hugely topical ? this is a must read
for all those interested in international law, foreign affairs and
Ruti Teitel, New York Law School
1 Law’s Politics: War Crimes Trials and Political Trials 11
2 Law’s Place: Internationalism and Localism 30
3 Law’s Subjects: Individual Responsibility and Collective Guilt 54
4 Law’s Promise: Punishment, Memory and Dissent 79
5 Law’s Anxieties: Show Trials 105
6 Law’s Hegemony: The Juridifi cation of War 132
7 Law’s Origins: Pirates 159
8 Law’s Fate 178
Select Bibliography 194