Criminalizing atrocity (2020)
the global spread of criminal laws against international crimes
in: Oxford scholarship online
Why do countries adopt criminal legislation making it possible to prosecute government and military officials for human rights violations? Over the past thirty years, dozens of countries have prosecuted their own or other states' officials for past atrocities. In Criminalizing Atrocity, Mark Berlin tells the story of the global spread of national criminal laws against atrocity crimes - genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity - laws that have helped pave the way for this remarkable trend toward greater accountability. He traces the early 20th-century origins of national atrocity laws to a group of influential European criminal law scholars and explains the global patterns by which these laws have since spread. Berlin shows that understanding why countries criminalize atrocities requires understanding how they do so.