War Crimes and International Justice
I had the good fortune, I suppose, to be associated with the subject of the investigation and prosecution of war crimes in the early days - the later 1990s, when it was all new and different,
and we were making it up (and encountering the problems) as we went along. For four years I was, pretty much, the UK's main person on war crimes in the Former Yugoslavia, and inevitably I
was dragged into other, related, subjects as well, including the negotiations for the International Criminal Court, in 1998.
In its wisdom, the UK government then sent me off to academia for
a year to write a book about the subject. I'm not a lawyer (although I worked with them of course) and my view of war crimes and what to do about them was more to do with the practical and
political problems, which are immense. I've retained an interest in the subject over the years, and have also written a few things.
My 2003 book War Crimes (the publisher's imaginative title, not mine, I wanted to call it "A Grave in the Air", from a poem by Paul Celan but I lost) is still just about available from
the usual places, or the publisher.
In 2010, I was invited to an international conference in Johannesburg on Africa and the International Criminal Court, which was then, and still is, a sensitive subject. I used the opportunity
to express a lot of concerns I had about the process itself, about the ICC and the way in which it was being used. I escaped with my life, but only just.
Here is a copy of the chapter I wrote for a collective book from the Conference, which has now been published.