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Perpetrators and Victims: Prosecuting Children for the Commission of International Crimes

Perpetrators and Victims: Prosecuting Children for the Commission of International Crimes KATHERINE FALLAH* Everyone talks about “the impact of war on children”. But how do you measure the impact of war? Who suffers the greater horror, the child who is violated, or the child who is forced to become a perpetrator? We are the victim, the perpetrator and the witness, all at once.1 Where an individual can be held responsible for their actions, failure to bring them to justice will support impunity and lead to a denial of justice to their victims. It may even encourage the use of children to commit atrocities.2 We were saying: Rule, glory, power – is all for us. But we were only dogs of the king, and we enjoyed it for a very short period.3 1. INTRODUCTION In the last decade, we have seen an important development in the enforcement of international law. For the first time since the Nuremberg trials,4 international criminals have been prosecuted before international tribunals for committing the most heinous offences of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. The United Nations’ regional ad hoc tribunals – the International Criminal Tribunals * B Juris, LLB (University of New South Wales), GDLP candidate (Australian National University). Research Associate to Justice http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png African Journal of International and Comparative Law Edinburgh University Press

Perpetrators and Victims: Prosecuting Children for the Commission of International Crimes

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
© Edinburgh University Press
ISSN
0954-8890
eISSN
1755-1609
DOI
10.3366/ajicl.2006.14.1.83
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

KATHERINE FALLAH* Everyone talks about “the impact of war on children”. But how do you measure the impact of war? Who suffers the greater horror, the child who is violated, or the child who is forced to become a perpetrator? We are the victim, the perpetrator and the witness, all at once.1 Where an individual can be held responsible for their actions, failure to bring them to justice will support impunity and lead to a denial of justice to their victims. It may even encourage the use of children to commit atrocities.2 We were saying: Rule, glory, power – is all for us. But we were only dogs of the king, and we enjoyed it for a very short period.3 1. INTRODUCTION In the last decade, we have seen an important development in the enforcement of international law. For the first time since the Nuremberg trials,4 international criminals have been prosecuted before international tribunals for committing the most heinous offences of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. The United Nations’ regional ad hoc tribunals – the International Criminal Tribunals * B Juris, LLB (University of New South Wales), GDLP candidate (Australian National University). Research Associate to Justice

Journal

African Journal of International and Comparative LawEdinburgh University Press

Published: Mar 1, 2006

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