CAUGHT ON CAMERA: FILM IN THE COURTROOM FROM THE NUREMBERG TRIALS TO THE TRIALS OF THE KHMER ROUGE

Vol. 25 No. 4 (April 2015) pp. 68-70

CAUGHT ON CAMERA: FILM IN THE COURTROOM FROM THE NUREMBERG TRIALS TO THE TRIALS OF THE KHMER ROUGE by Christian Delage. Edited and translated by Ralph Schoolcraft and Mary Byrd Kelly. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press. 2014. 352 pp. Cloth $59.95. ISBN: 978-0-8122-4556-1.

Reviewed by Helen J. Knowles, Government Department, Skidmore College. Email: hknowles@skidmore.edu.

By the spring of 1945, when President Truman appointed U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson to be America’s chief prosecutor at the Nuremberg war crimes tribunal, the more contentious political objectives for the Allied pursuit of postwar justice had already been the subjects of considerable debate within policy-making circles in the Roosevelt Administration. When he traveled to London to negotiate the Charter for the International Military Tribunal (IMT), Jackson took with him more than his own conceptions of what should be included in the document. The structure of principles that he designed, as he later observed, “only recognized an evolution that already had been consummated” (Jackson 1946 p. x). The introduction of cinematic “evidence” at the IMT was precedent-setting. However, as Christian Delage convincingly demonstrates in CAUGHT ON CAMERA: FILM IN THE COURTROOM FROM THE NUREMBERG TRIALS TO THE TRIALS OF THE KHMER ROUGE, that reshaping of the criminal process was also part of an “evolution” of thought about the use of film during legal proceedings. During that “evolution” many of the components were “already…consummated,” even if that consummation generally took place in non-judicial venues.

Many members of the law and courts community will find CAUGHT ON CAMERA useful. It will be of particular interest to those who (a) seek to bring an interdisciplinary perspective to bear upon materials for their international law courses, or (b) want to enrich their law and film courses with readings that show – as the book’s subtitle indicates – how film has been used “in the courtroom.” However, this volume is likely primarily to serve as a reference work into which interested students will be able to dip for nuggets of information about one particularly interesting (and often overlooked) aspect of the legacy of the IMT.

PERPETRATORS AND ACCESSORIES IN INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL LAW: INDIVIDUAL MODES OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR COLLECTIVE CRIMES

Vol. 25 No. 4 (April 2015) pp. 62-67

PERPETRATORS AND ACCESSORIES IN INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL LAW: INDIVIDUAL MODES OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR COLLECTIVE CRIMES by Neha Jain. Oxford and Portland, OR: Hart Publishing Ltd. 2014. 230 pp. Cloth $120.00. ISBN: 9781849464550.

Reviewed by Roger A. Shiner, Department of Philosophy, University of British Columbia Okanagan and Okanagan College. E-mail: roger.shiner@ubc.ca or rshiner@okanagan.bc.ca.

On September 11th 2001, just short of three thousand people were killed in four simultaneous and coordinated incidents of international terrorism. We know how to deal with such a case with respect to the norms and procedures of criminal law, even though the death toll far surpassed the 77 killed by Anders Breivik in 2011 in Norway. We know those who directly caused the deaths, including their own: we know who was the principal agent directing the killings to take place, and we would have had no difficulty obtaining a conviction in court had things gone that way. An estimated 500,000 to 1,000,000 people died in Rwanda in 1994 at the hands of Hutu aggressors. An estimated 1,700,000 to 2,300,000 died at the hands of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia between 1975 and 1979. An estimated 8,000 Bosniaks were murdered in Srebrenica in 1995, and 20,000 to 30,000 more forcibly relocated in an ethnic cleansing rife with violent rape and torture. We struggle to deal with these cases. We set up international criminal tribunals, but convictions do not come easily if at all. Repressive political leaders seem to be able to eliminate whom they choose while the international community stands helplessly by.

Jain’s fine, densely argued book attributes this regrettable state of affairs in part to the lack of a normatively adequate legal framework for determining the criminal culpability of the masterminds behind such large-scale atrocities. Her goal in the book is to develop such a framework. Methodologically, the book is not a rational reconstruction of existing positive law, but rather of Jain’s own fundamental intuitions about who deserves what and when criminal culpability is properly assigned. She is not afraid to prioritize her normative intuitions over the provisions of positive criminal law, both international and domestic. The theory that results (as her title accurately states) is a complex assessment of individual modes of responsibility for collective crimes, consisting in a normative story about how properly to identify the perpetrators of and accessories to collective crimes.