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Early efforts to establish an International Criminal Court

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Chapter Summary

Over a period of many centuries, humanitarian principles regulating armed conflicts evolved gradually in different civilizations. Until Gustave Moynier suggested a permanent court, almost all trials for violations of the laws of war were by ad hoc tribunals constituted by one of the belligerents usually the victor rather than by ordinary courts or by an international criminal court. Moyniers proposal for an international criminal court focused on creating a formal enforcement mechanism responsible for coercive compliance. The device of a criminal trial was to be the major way in which the enforcement of limitations and obligations of international humanitarian law could be achieved. Nine months after the conclusion of the Peace Treaty of Versailles, a treaty of peace was presented to Turkey on 11 May 1920.

Keywords: armed conflicts; Gustave Moynier; international criminal court; international humanitarian law; Peace Treaty of Versailles



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