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The Sun Climbs Slow: The International Criminal Court and the Struggle for Justice

Length: 400 pages6 hours


A powerful investigation of the story and individuals behind America’s refusal to acknowledge international law and an inquiry into the urgent role of international criminal justice from the award-winning, bestselling author of Long Shadows.

In this groundbreaking investigation, Erna Paris explores the history of global justice, the politics behind America’s opposition to the creation of a permanent international criminal court, and the implications for the world at large.

At the end of the twentieth century, two extraordinary events took place. The first was the end of the Cold War, which left the world with a single empire that dominated global affairs with a ready fist. The second event was the birth of the International Criminal Court–the first permanent tribunal of its kind. The ICC prosecutes crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide. Its mandate is to confront impunity and demand accountability for the worst crimes known.

But on March 11, 2003, when the new court was inaugurated in a moving ceremony, one country was conspicuously missing from the celebrations. The government of the United States had made it clear that the International Criminal Court was not consistent with American goals and values.

The Sun Climbs Slow grapples with an emerging dilemma of the twenty-first century: the tension between unchallenged political power and the rule of international law.

The legacy of the twentieth century is one of unsurpassed brutality. Within the span of one century, we have witnessed the genocide of Armenian civilians by the Turks in 1915; the murderous Japanese assault on Nanjing, China, in 1937; the Nazi Holocaust against the Jews in mid-century; the special horror of Josef Stalin’s crimes against his own people; apartheid in South Africa; the annihilation of millions of Cambodians by their fellow countryman, Pol Pot; the grotesque cruelties of Idi Amin in Uganda; vicious genocides in Yugoslavia and Rwanda; and the ongoing shame of Darfur, the Congo, and the other warring regions of the African continent. What, then, is the simple, powerful idea behind this great gathering? The International Criminal Court’s mandate is to prosecute the perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, the most serious offenses ever codified, making it a newborn with enough muscle to influence the way nations, and especially their leaders, consider their choices. It has been mandated to mount an assault on the age-old scourge of criminal impunity, on behalf of the peoples of the world.
The Sun Climbs Slow

From the Hardcover edition.

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