This past week UN investigators called for the establishment of a war crimes tribunal to investigate crimes against humanity committed in the Central African Republic (CAR). The establishment of tribunals to investigate serious crimes in a particular theater of war is not a new concept, and legal and historical researchers investigating the history of major war crimes tribunals may be interested in the following resources:The first such international tribunal was established following the end of World War II. The International Military Tribunal for the Trial of German Major War Criminals, more popularly known as the Nuremberg Trials, was established in 1945 to prosecute the captured leadership of the Nazi party. Researchers looking for the records of this tribunal can obtain the official records from the Library of Congress, various trial documents from the Yale Law School’s Avalon Project, and trial transcripts from the Hathi Trust.
In 1993, the International Criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia was established to prosecute criminals from the Yugoslav Wars of the 1990s. Interested researchers can consult the tribunal’s official website for items such as the official court records, indictments and ongoing proceedings. The tribunal expects to finish its last appeals this year
More recently, the International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda was established in 1994 to prosecute perpetrators of the Rwandan Genocide of the same year. Interested researchers can also consult this tribunal’s official website to locate administrative documents, case documents and individual cases.