The Timeline: International justice
Tuesday 23 August 2011
1274 BC: Ancient justice
International justice is an antique. One of earliest treaties extant is between Egypt and the Middle-Eastern Hittite Empire which, alongside a concern for spheres of influence, also made provisions for the extradition of fugitives. The gods of both nations were "enlisted" as guardians of the agreement.
1st Century BC: The idea of law
The intellectual heart of international justice owes its genesis to a gaggle of Greek and Roman thinkers. Aristotle came up with the idea of universal standards of behaviour by which all states and peoples should live. But it falls to Cicero and the Stoics to refine it.
Cicero fathered the notion of international justice, but it took millennia for anyone to codify the laws and theories which guaranteed it. Swiss diplomat Emmerich de Vattel publishes his Law of Nations, the world's first systematic international law treatise and arguably the most influential.
1919: A (non) permanent court
After the First World War, the Allies set up the Permanent Court of International Justice (an adjunct of the new League of Nations) to ensure disputes between leaders never again led to such slaughter.
The International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg opens on 18 October 1945 with the indictment of 24 Nazi war criminals. Sir Norman Birkett, Britain's Nuremberg judge, sums up its significance elegantly: "Aggressors great and small will embark on war with the certain knowledge that if they fail they will be held to grim account."
2002: A global court
Although there had been ad-hoc war crime tribunals throughout the 1990s for Yugoslavia and Rwanda, it took until 2002 for the world to get its first standing International Criminal Court. A product of the Rome Statute 1998, it can exercise its jurisdiction only when national courts are unwilling or unable to investigate. It now has 24 ongoing trials. As the battle for Libya continues in Tripoli, the courts are currently pursuing Muammar Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam and Libya's head of military intelligence, Abdullah al-Senussi.
Lincoln MP Karl McCartney 'denied all knowledge' of the Twitter activity
- 2 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
- 5 Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
Black Friday 2014: Opening times for Asda, John Lewis, GAME, PC World and Argos
Miss Honduras Maria Jose Alvarado's stylist Luis Alfredo Garcia is found stabbed to death
Sean Abbott: Messages of support flood in for bowler following death of batsman Phil Hughes
Kim Jong-un proves 'in dire need of allies' within his own government as younger sister appointed to senior role
Dr Lam Hoe Yeoh: Voyeur doctor jailed for eight years after using network of hidden cameras to film patients, colleagues and friends on the toilet
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: SURREY MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: What do you want to do with your career? Do yo...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company is a leading expert in immunoassa...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Development Scientist is required to join a ...