All the Missing Souls: A Personal History of the War Crimes Tribunals

Author(s): David Scheffer

Biography & Memoir

Within days of Madeleine Albright's confirmation as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in 1993, she instructed David Scheffer to spearhead the historic mission to create a war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. As senior adviser to Albright and then as President Clinton's ambassador-at-large for war crimes issues, Scheffer was at the forefront of the efforts that led to criminal tribunals for the Balkans, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Cambodia, and that resulted in the creation of the permanent International Criminal Court. "All the Missing Souls" is Scheffer's gripping insider's account of the international gamble to prosecute those responsible for genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, and to redress some of the bloodiest human rights atrocities in our time. Scheffer reveals the truth behind Washington's failures during the 1994 Rwandan genocide and the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, the anemic hunt for notorious war criminals, how American exceptionalism undercut his diplomacy, and the perilous quests for accountability in Kosovo and Cambodia. He takes readers from the killing fields of Sierra Leone to the political back rooms of the U.N.
Security Council, providing candid portraits of major figures such as Madeleine Albright, Anthony Lake, Richard Goldstone, Louise Arbour, Samuel "Sandy" Berger, Richard Holbrooke, and Wesley Clark, among others. A stirring personal account of an important historical chapter, "All the Missing Souls" provides new insights into the continuing struggle for international justice.


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A diplomat fights an uphill battle to bring the worst criminals to justice in this dogged memoir... Scheffer's narrative is an epic diplomatic history... In it we see the birth of a more responsible and civilized world order. -- "Publishers Weekly Pioneering... From the indictment of Slobodan Milosevic in Kosovo to the trial of Charles Taylor in Sierra Leone, Scheffer recounts the highlights of this 'truly international counterattack on impunity for the worst possible crimes.' Reflecting after nearly a decade of battles, the author writes that international justice is the art of the possible and requires endless patience and persistence... An important resource for scholars and specialists in international law. -- "Kirkus Reviews Scheffer recounts the effort to extend the reach of international justice to war zones and collapsing societies... This impeccably documented work stands as a condemnation not just of such Bush-era expediency but also of moral compromise at the expense of the powerless. It's also the story of an attempt to attain the most strenuous of goals: upholding civilization in the face of monstrous evil. Scheffer is one of the very few people who can tell it. -- Douglas Gillison, Time Scheffer provides a fascinating insider's account of the formation of the war crimes tribunals following atrocities in the Balkans, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Cambodia... Scheffer chronicles in captivating detail the diplomatic and political minefields that he and his colleagues navigated to help establish the International Criminal Court... A superb account and unique perspective on the subject, complementing works such as Carla Del Ponte's Madame Prosecutor: Confrontations with Humanity's Worst Criminals and the Culture of Impunity. -- Lynne F. Maxwell, Library Journal Meticulous... From 1993 to 1997 [Scheffer] served as senior adviser to Madeleine Albright, the US ambassador to the UN, and then until 2001, on President Bill Clinton's nomination, he became the first US ambassador-at-large for war crimes issues. Scheffer is therefore particularly well placed to describe the changes that occurred over that eight-year period... All the Missing Souls: A Personal History of the War Crimes Tribunals is first and foremost an insider's account, and one written from a US perspective... No country has done more to create an international justice system than the US, or to keep itself outside the reach of that system. If nothing else, Scheffer's account establishes that for the US, even for the Clinton administration, this was about making international law for others. -- Philippe Sands, Financial Times As the first Ambassador at large for War Crimes Issues, David Scheffer was literally at the centre of what is the most fertile period in the development of international criminal law since the Nuremberg Trial... His insights into the dynamics of the evolving US policy in international criminal justice are invaluable. Amongst the many textbooks in international criminal law, David Scheffer's book is refreshingly different. It makes good reading for specialists and for students, yet it is also highly accessible to a broad public. This is a must acquisition for the international criminal law bookshelf. -- William A. Schabas, PhD Studies in Human Rights A revealing and valuable record of the U.S. role in the effort to entrench accountability for mass atrocities as a central principle in international affairs... The centerpiece of Scheffer's book is a long and vivid account of the negotiations to set up a permanent International Criminal Court. -- Anthony Dworkin, Washington Post The reporting of genocide and mass atrocities in the media often has the effect of dulling us to their full horror. They become abstractions, something that happens to other people, far away. In All the Missing Souls, Scheffer makes those crimes immediate and real, and describes an extraordinary effort to further the creation of a world that 'holds war criminals in contempt and breeds them no more.' -- Maria Browning, Chapter 16

David Scheffer is the Mayer Brown/Robert A. Helman Professor of Law and director of the Center for International Human Rights at Northwestern University School of Law. Selected by Foreign Policy magazine as one of the Top Global Thinkers of 2011, he has been appointed as the U.N. secretary-general's special expert on the Khmer Rouge trials. He served as the first U.S. ambassador-at-large for war crimes issues (1997-2001) and led American initiatives on war crimes tribunals during the 1990s. He has published widely on international law and politics.

INTRODUCTION: Ambassador to Hell 1 PART I CHAPTER ONE: An Echo of Nuremberg 15 CHAPTER TWO: It's Genocide, Stupid 45 CHAPTER THREE: Credible Justice for Rwanda 69 CHAPTER FOUR: Abandoned at Srebrenica 87 CHAPTER FIVE: The Pastor from Mugonero 108 CHAPTER SIX: Unbearable Timidity 124 PART II CHAPTER SEVEN: The Siren of Exceptionalism 163 CHAPTER EIGHT: Futile Endgame 199 CHAPTER NINE: Rome's Aftermath 227 PART III CHAPTER TEN: Crime Scene Kosovo 251 CHAPTER ELEVEN: Freetown Is Burning 296 CHAPTER TWELVE: The Toughest Cockfi ght 341 PART IV CHAPTER THIRTEEN: No Turning Back 409 CHAPTER FOURTEEN: Postscript on Law, Crimes, and Impunity 421 Acknowledgments 441 Appendix: Comparison of Modern War Crimes Tribunals 444 Notes 451 Further Reading 501 List of Illustrations 511 Index 513

General Fields

  • : 9780691140155
  • : The University Press Group Ltd
  • : Princeton University Press
  • : December 2011
  • : 229mm X 152mm X 39mm
  • : United States
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 570
  • : Hardback
  • : David Scheffer