War, Truth and Justice in the Balkans

As a law student studying in an appalling banlieue satellite campus of the University of Paris in 2000, I quite by accident stumbled across a book by Pierre Hazan on the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal.  Published that year as La Justice Face à la Guerre, I instantly recognized it as the first significant history of the international court established to try war criminals from the conflict that tore apart the former Yugoslavia during the 1990s.

Since I was then studying international criminal law, I knew no such book existed in English. Filled with visions of glory — or at least knowing I had nothing to lose — I wrote Pierre in my middling French asking him if he would allow me to pitch a translation to American publishers.  To my astonishment and eternal gratitude he accepted.  During the next four years I worked feverishly on the translation, adding notations and photographs.  It was published in 2004 by Texas A&M University Press as Justice in a Time of War.  Pierre graciously and enterprisingly added an additional chapter about the trial of Slobodan Milosevic — his arrest and extradition to The Hague occurred after the French edition appeared — and eerily predicted Milosevic’s death in detention.  (For myself I saw Milosevic during his trial in The Hague while on a trip to The Netherlands in 2003, but witnessed nothing of his infamous histrionics.)

You can purchase Justice in a Time of War at Amazon.com (including Kindle format), where it remains a top seller on military justice and the former Yugoslavia.

Pierre is an accomplished war correspondent for Libèration in Paris and Le Temps in Geneva and has since expanded his reportage into scholarship on transitional justice and other issues at Harvard University, the U.S. Institute for Peace, and l’Institut d’etudes politique (Sciences Po) in Paris.  You can read more about him here.  He has since published additional works in French and in English, including his most recent, Judging War, Judging History.

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has lasted longer than all of the wars in that benighted former federation combined. Fortunately the two worst war criminals are now in the dock — Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic — and with the last wanted suspects in custody the long mandate of the court will at last have an end date.  It also means that the independent nations of the Balkans will be able to reconcile and move towards prosperity and protection within the European Union and NATO.

###

About James Thomas Snyder

U.S. Foreign Service Officer, writer, translator and former NATO and U.S. Congressional staffer. All opinions expressed here are my own. My work has appeared in the International Herald Tribune, Military Review, Joint Force Quarterly, Internationale Politik, Dissent, The New York Times and Los Angeles Times, among other publications. In 2013, Palgrave-MacMillan published my book, The United States and the Challenge of Public Diplomacy. In 2004, TAMU press published my translation of Pierre Hazan's Justice in a Time of War, a history of the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal in 2004. I earned a joint JD-MA from American University in 2001 and a BA from UCLA in 1995. I also studied European and international law at the University of Paris X-Nanterre and international security at Meiji Gakuin University in Yokohama, Japan.
This entry was posted in Books, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, The Former Yugoslavia and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s