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Law and War$
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Austin Sarat, Lawrence Douglas, and Martha Merrill Umphrey

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780804787420

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804787420.001.0001

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War Crimes Trials during and after War

War Crimes Trials during and after War

(p.198) War Crimes Trials during and after War
Law and War

Larry May

Stanford University Press

Larry May’s chapter is concerned with the relationship between jus ad bellum and jus in bello and attempts to offer a unified response to two seemingly disparate questions: When should war crimes trials be staged? Who can be held liable for violations of jus ad bellum? Schooled on the Nuremberg precedent, we tend to think of war crimes trials as post hoc phenomena, staged in the aftermath of war. But as May points out, this need not be the case; May finds a potent example in the My Lai massacre and the trial of William Calley that ensued. Despite its anomalous features, the Calley trial stands as an example of a war crimes trial staged in the midst of ongoing hostilities. As the struggle against global terror has destabilized the very distinction between conditions of war and peace we might expect to see more Calley-like trials in the future.

Keywords:   war crimes, war and justice, law and war, My Lai massacre, William Calley trial, global terror

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