War Crimes

The Special Court for Sierra Leone (http://www.sc-sl.org) has indicted former President Charles Taylor for war crimes. [FN] The indictment (http://www.sc-sl.org/Documents/SCSL-03-01-I-75.pdf) and other filing are available at the courts website at (http://www.sc-sl.org/taylor-decisions.html). In the indictment, Taylor is charged, among other things, with crimes against humanity, violations of the Geneva Conventions, and violations of the Statute of the Court (http://www.sc-sl.org/Documents/SCSL-03-01-I-75.pdf).

For a good, short, introduction to the historical background and concept of "war crimes," see the BBC's discussion at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/1420133.stm [The article discusses the ratification and adoption of the treaty establishing a permanent international criminal court, but doesn't make clear that the court is now a reality. The United States has refused to sign the treaty, and makes agreements with countries on which its troops are sent that they not be prosecuted. ] On the reluctance generally on the part of the United States to ratify treaties enforcing the laws of war, see "United States War Crimes," http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/FOE201A.html

In addition to elaborating on which acts constitute war crimes, this article (http://www.icrc.org/
Web/Eng/siteeng0.nsf/iwpList74/0D29E6D79C46DF3DC1256CF5005B5C2C
) from the International Committee of the Red Cross also addresses how war criminals prosecuted under humanitarian law.

PBS (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/rwanda/reports/dsetexhe.html) offers a good discussion of the concept of "genocide" within the context of the Rwanda crisis. The renowned international criminal law expert Prof. Cherif Bassiouni also concisely outlines the nature of "crimes against humanity"at http://www.crimesofwar.org/thebook/crimes-against-humanity.html

The American Society of International Law's website provides a bibliography on the topic covering 1990 until the present at http://www.asil.org/resources/bios.html.

The scholarly literature on this topic is voluminous, so only a selection is offered here:

Lucas, Emma T. Sexual Abuses as Wartime Crimes against Women and Children: the Case of Liberia . Liberian Studies Journal, Vol. 22, issue 2, pp. 240-260 (1997).

Nowrojee, Binaifer, and Corrinne Dufka. Back to the brink: war crimes by Liberian government and rebels Human Rights Watch Report, May 2003, online at http://www.hrw.org/reports/2002/liberia/Liberia0402.pdf.

Gutman, Roy, and Rieff, David, eds. Crimes of war: what the public should know. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1999.

Stromseth, Jane, ed. Accountability for atrocities: national and international responses. Ardsley, NY: Transnational Publishers, 2003.

McCormack, Timothy L.H., and Gerry J. Simpson, eds. The law of war crimes: national and international approaches. Boston, MA: Kluwer Law International, 1996.

John Hagan, Justice in the Balkans: Prosecuting War Crimes in the Hague Tribunal (U. of Chicago Press, 2003)

Gary Jonathan Bass, Stay the Hand of Vengeance: The Politics of War Crimes Tribunals (Princeton, 2000)

Finch, G.A. Retribution for war crimes. American Journal of International Law v. 37 (January 1943) p. 81-8

Garcia-Mora, M.R. Crime against peace in international law: from Nurnberg to the present. Kentucky Law Journal v. 53 (Fall 1964) p. 36

Ferencz, B.B. War crimes law and the Vietnam war. The American University Law Review v. 17 (June 1968) p. 403

Moore, J.N. War crimes and the rule of law in the Gulf Crisis. Virginia Journal of International Law v. 31 (Spring 1991) p. 403-15

Kastrup, Dieter. From Nuremberg to Rome and beyond: the fight against genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity
Authors: Source: Fordham Int'l L.J., 1999, 23, 2, 404-414

War Crimes and Reconciliation After Conflict
http://religion.rutgers.edu/courses/347/readings/war_crimes.html

FN See "Sierra Leone's special shoestring court" for an overview of the court.
(http://www.icrc.org/Web/eng/siteeng0.nsf/3e02cd6224ce0af6012568b
20048a62f/ ed578f5f19e3cafac1256ba700330ff1/$FILE/121-144_McDonald.pdf
)