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Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
May 2018
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Book description

Despite the conclusion of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg that aggression is the 'supreme international crime', armed conflict remains a frequent and ubiquitous feature of international life, leaving millions of victims in its wake. This collection of original chapters by leading and emerging scholars from all around the world evaluates historic and current examples of the use of force and the context of crimes of aggression. As we approach the 75th anniversary of the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal, Seeking Accountability for the Unlawful Use of Force examines the many systems and accountability frameworks which have developed since the Second World War. By suggesting new avenues for enhancing accountability structures already in place as well as proposing new frameworks needed, this volume will begin a movement to establish the mechanisms needed to charge those responsible for the unlawful use of force.


'As we approach the third decade of the twenty-first century, wars continue to take their toll on untold numbers of innocent civilians; launching a nuclear war has become a topic of serious discussion; and from July 2018 the crime of aggression will fall within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. It is hardly surprising that the global community continues its search for legal means to deter the resort to war, aggression and the commission of massive war crimes. Seeking Accountability for the Unlawful Use of Force, edited by Professor Leila Sadat, could not be more timely or important. It contains thoughtful and accessible essays by some of the leading experts in the field of international criminal law. They trace its modern history and consider the future of mechanisms of accountability for war crimes. This excellent collection is essential reading for all interested in the relationship between law and war.'

Richard Goldstone - former Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda

'Leila Sadat is a towering figure in the field of international law, and it is no surprise that she has assembled in this thought-provoking enterprise many prominent legal experts and contributors. In international criminal law, there is continued debate over what constitutes reasonable use of force and what measures may be appropriate to deter and punish acts of aggression. This book offers rare insight into the legal debates, and provides compelling arguments for a rational use of force within the existing framework of international law.'

Mark S. Ellis - Executive Director, International Bar Association

'The significance of this book cannot be underestimated. With the recent activation of the International Criminal Court’s jurisdiction over the crime of aggression, the time is ripe to reflect on the way accountability for the unlawful use of force has been dealt with both by the ICC's predecessors as well as through other mechanisms. Moreover, it is important to take stock and reflect on the many challenges faced so far in order to better prepare for future accountability efforts. The collection brings together leading academics in the field who provide a holistic examination of the issue at hand, filling an important gap in the scholarship. I cannot recommend it highly enough.'

Olympia Bekou - School of Law, University of Nottingham

'This collection of essays, written by eminent scholars in the field, could not be more timely, as we approach the activation of the ICC’s jurisdiction over the crime of aggression on 17 July 2018, the very day of its twentieth anniversary. Seeking Accountability for Unlawful Use of Force is an essential reading companion for those, scholars and practitioners alike, who seek a better understanding of the legacy of the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials against the backdrop of the shifting boundaries between ius ad bellum and ius in bello in the post-9/11 age.'

Christine Van den Wyngaert - Judge at the International Criminal Court

'This book is an encyclopedic, truly comprehensive treatment of a historic issue within the general topic of the use of violent force in international law. Highly recommended.'

S. R. Silverburg Source: Choice

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