This book is the first comprehensive analysis of the politics of war crimes trials. It provides a systematic and theoretically rigorous examination of whether these trials are used as tools for political consolidation or whether justice is their primary purpose. The consideration of cases begins with the trial of Charles I of England and goes through the presidency of George W. Bush, including the trials of Saddam Hussein and those arising from the War on Terror. The book concludes that political consolidation is the primary concern of these trials - a point that runs contrary to the popular perception of the trials and their stated justification. Through the consideration of war crimes trials, this book makes a contribution to our understanding of power and conflict resolution and illuminates the developmental path of war crimes tribunals.
Dr Charles Anthony Smith is a professor in the Political Science Department at the University of California, Irvine. His research encompasses work in public law in both comparative and international frameworks as well as on the judiciary in the United States using a variety of methodologies. He has published articles in the Law and Society Review, the Human Rights Review, the Journal of Human Rights, the Journal of International Relations and Development, the Election Law Journal and the International Political Science Review, among others. Smith's law practice focused on complex litigation in federal court and intellectual property.