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Prosecuting Heads of State
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Book description

Since 1990, 65 former heads of state or government have been legitimately prosecuted for serious human rights or financial crimes. Many of these leaders were brought to trial in reasonably free and fair judicial processes, and some served time in prison as a result. This book explores the reasons for the meteoric rise in trials of senior leaders and the motivations, public dramas, and intrigues that accompanied efforts to bring them to justice. Drawing on an analysis of the 65 cases, the book examines the emergence of regional trends in Europe and Latin America and contains case studies of high-profile trials of former government leaders: Augusto Pinochet (Chile), Alberto Fujimori (Peru), Slobodan Milosevic (former Yugoslavia), Charles Taylor (Liberia and Sierra Leone), and Saddam Hussein (Iraq) – studies written by experts who closely followed their cases and their impacts on wider societies. This is the only book that examines the rise in the number of domestic and international trials globally and tells the tales in readable prose and with fascinating details.


'… Lutz and Reiger have put together a rich and compelling examination of a topic whose importance will continue to grow, particularly as countries in North Africa are in the midst of democratic revolutions in which former dictators are being toppled and the word ‘justice’ is on everyone’s minds.'

Alison Smith Source: International Journal of Transitional Justice

'Prosecuting Heads of State is an excellent contribution to the literature covering international criminal justice. For those that have been following this topic, it also brings some fresh air by underlining the successes of international criminal justice after years of impunity.'

Vincent Roobaert - Assistant Legal Adviser, NC3A

'… a solid analysis and a valuable resource for scholars and practitioners alike … looks beyond trial transcripts and official records to the impact that international justice institutions have had or should have, providing scholars, practitioners and the public with analyses that stand in contrast to the uncritical support often seen elsewhere.'

Source: International Journal of Transitional Justice

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