Combating Impunity and Enforcing Accountability as a Way To Promote Peace and Stability – The Role of International War Crimes Tribunals

The twentieth century will be remembered for the millions of innocent children, women, and men who perished needlessly in war or in large-scale, organized extrajudicial killings. More than 170 million civilians lost their lives, many of them victims of “unimaginable atrocities that deeply shock[ed] the conscience of humanity.”

By Mark S. Ellis

Mark Ellis is the executive director of the International Bar Association (IBA). The IBA is comprised of 198 national bar associations and 40,000 individual members from around the world. Prior to joining the IBA, Dr. Ellis was the executive director of the Central European and Eurasian Law Initiative, a project of the American Bar Association. He served as legal advisor to the Independent International Commission on Kosovo and was appointed by OSCE to advise on the creation of Serbia’s War Crimes Tribunal and was actively involved with the Iraqi High Tribunal. He was a long-time consultant to The World Bank and adjunct professor at The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law. A frequent speaker and media commentator on international legal issues, Dr. Ellis appears regularly on CNN International, Al Jazeera, and BBC and has published extensively in the areas of international humanitarian law, war crimes tribunals, and the development of the rule of law. His latest publication, Sovereignty and Justice: Creating Domestic War Crimes Courts within the Principle of Complementarity, will be published by Oxford University Press in 2011. Dr. Ellis earned his J.D. and economics degrees from Florida State University and his Ph.D. in international criminal law from King’s College.

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