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The concept that atrocities committed by governments against their own people should be punishable as international crimes emerged after World War II from the human rights movement and trials at Nuremberg and Tokyo. This idea that there should be accountability for atrocities committed by both state and nonstate actors is prevalent in the field of transitional justice, which deals with the range of judicial and nonjudicial measures implemented by states to redress the legacies of massive human rights abuses. The theory is that accountability will combat impunity and deter future violations of human rights.

Modern War and Atrocities

History is rife with examples of atrocities committed during war. Throughout history, victors of war have slaughtered the men and enslaved the women of conquered populations. Extreme violence often ...

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