Justice or vengeance? This is always the question raised by war crimes trials, although it might be noted that they are a relatively recent historical phenomenon. Some were proposed at the end of the Great War but never eventuated. The original and best known is, of course, Nuremberg at the end of World War II. Over the decades, there have been various prosecutions by the International Criminal Court, particularly concerning events in the Balkans in the 1990s, and by some one-off tribunals, such as in relation to the killings in Rwanda in 1994.
Michael Sexton reviews 'Stern Justice: The Forgotten Story of Australia, Japan and the Pacific War Crimes Trials' by Adam Wakeling
Stern Justice: The Forgotten Story of Australia, Japan and the Pacific War Crimes Trials
by Adam Wakeling
Viking, $34.99 pb, 390 pp, 9780143793335
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Michael Sexton SC is a graduate of the law schools of the universities of Melbourne and Virginia, and spent some years as an academic lawyer before taking up practice at the NSW Bar. Since 1998 he has been Solicitor General for New South Wales. He is co-author of the Australian text on defamation law and the author of several books on Australian politics and history.
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