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Facts About War Crimes

In response to:

We're So Exceptional from the April 5, 2012 issue

To the Editors:

Michael Ignatieff’s review of my book, All the Missing Souls: A Personal History of the War Crimes Tribunals [NYR, April 5], contains two errors that merit correction. First, the George W. Bush administration’s “de-signature” of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, a treaty I signed on behalf of the United States on December 31, 2000, occurred in May 2002, not 2003. (My signature remains on the treaty and its legal authority can be reaffirmed by any American president.) Second, as recited on page 411 of the book, the number of convictions rendered by the five major war crimes tribunals totaled 131 by the end of 2010, more than ten times the number cited by Mr. Ignatieff. Further significant convictions have been delivered since then, including the International Criminal Court’s first such judgment, of Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, on March 14.

David Scheffer
Northwestern University School of Law
Chicago, Illinois

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