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From east Timor to Timor-Leste: A demonstration of the limits of international law in the pursuit of justice

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the events taking place in 1999 and the response of the international community in the pursuit of international criminal justice. The response to the violations of international law in 1999 is part of a long pattern of indifference shown by the international system to events in East Timor/Timor-Leste involving behaviour that runs contrary to accepted international legal principles. The chapter discusses the events of 1999 and the responses which followed, concentrating on the apparent unwillingness of the UN and key states to address the issue of impunity with regard to those in the Indonesian military and government who have been found to be directly responsible for a catalogue of serious violations of international criminal law. The history of East Timor and its position in the world has, for the most part, been sculpted by other states, a trend which continues to the present period of independence.

Keywords: East Timor; Indonesian military; international community; international criminal justice; international criminal law; Timor-Leste



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