From the normative perspective of international humanitarian law—laying down the law, punishing its transgressors, and setting new standards—the Arusha tribunal’s impact has been huge. The court’s judges have handed down historic verdicts that have set far-reaching precedents for other international war crimes tribunals and national courts on a global scale. And for the first time in Africa, “big men” that typically held sway in their national political environments, occasionally through genocidal massacres, were held accountable by a court of law. Those verdicts themselves have much political significance as I explained in the Introduction, but of course they do not remove the other political and strategic factors that are also embedded in the framework of the international tribunal.
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4 Uncharted Waters: Judging Genocide
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