This timely handbook offers an examination of man's history of war crimes and the parallel development of rules of war to prevent them in the future.
The issue of government-sanctioned torture is very much a part of today's headlines, but it is nothing new. In 1915, nearly 800,000 Armenians were murdered by the Turks and no one was punished. The same number of people perished in the 1994 Rwanda genocide—in just 100 days. In four years, between 1975 and 1979, Cambodia’s Pol Pot regime was responsible for the deaths of just under two million people.
Kosovo, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Darfur, Auschwitz. War crimes have occurred in regions around the world and continue to this day. Although atrocities are as old as war itself, they did not become punishable crimes until the law evolved to define them as such. War Crimes, Genocide, and the Law: A Guide to the Issues examines the types of war crimes and the motivations behind them, as well as the laws that seek to control and abolish these heinous acts.
Within the handbook, centuries of war crimes and genocides are analyzed and catalogued. At the same time, the author offers a history of the development of the rules of war, enabling readers to grasp the importance of such precedent-setting events as the 1946 Nuremberg Trials, and to see the gradual evolution of the laws intended to punish perpetrators and prevent future barbarism.
• Copies of the original humanitarian treaties: the Civil War Lieber Code, Hague Agreements, and Geneva Conventions of 1929 and 1949
• Images ranging from a disturbing picture from Life magazine to war crimes photos from the U.S. Military Education and Heritage Center and photos of the Nuremberg Trials
• A robust bibliography designed to provide interested readers with a sweeping description of the most important sources available
• Outlines the long history of war crimes and the periodic legal efforts to control man's aggressive behaviorand the parallel development of rules of war in the hope of preventing them in the future
• Examines the influence of each successive war crimes tribunal on the development of international law
• Describes the current trajectory of America's actions related to genocide and war crimes