Cornell International Law Journal


Payam Akhavan


International Law, Criminal Justice, article, Human Rights, Legitimacy, Fair trial, Judicial process, Genocide, War crimes


In this essay in the Symposium on Milosevic & Hussein on Trial, the author discusses issues of interdependence to argue that, although military power can eliminate threats in the short term, in an inextricably interdependent world long term peace can only be sustained by legitimacy. The author's personal experiences at a meeting on the "ethnic cleansing" in the Balkans prior to the creation of the International Criminal Tribunal on the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) are related to the success of "soft power" in judicial disguise, & the relationship between justice for others & political identity in liberal democracies. A historical narrative of political events prior to the creation of the Iraqi Special Tribunal (IST) addresses the impacts of the Iran-Iraq war; the Reagan & Bush administration's fight against Iraqi sanctions, & provides a context for Saddam's trial & the authors concerns about the omissions of crimes against the Iraqi people in the IST. The author advocates a US commitment to accountability beyond the realpolitik of nuclear containment or support for terrorism. J. Harwell

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