A personal and unique look at the inner workings of the Office of the Prosecutor of the first international criminal court since Nuremburg.

Seen through the eyes of the first Deputy Chief Prosecutor of the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), it traces the creation of the Prosecutor’s Office in 1994 paving the way for the first Chief Prosecutor, Richard Goldstone and his two successors Louise Arbour and Carla Del Ponte, to undertake the Tribunal’s incredible journey, eventually achieving total success.

It describes how, faced with the prospects of a complete failure, the Prosecutor’s Office was able to bring about the apprehension of every living person who had been indicted by the Tribunal. It also describes how the Tribunal prevented the outbreak of war in North Macedonia and the commission of more war crimes in that country.

The ICTY Judges. Graham (far right – front row) with the 11 ICTY judges, Prosecutor Richard Goldstone (far left – front row) and the Registrar (Dorothee de Sampayo – third from left back row). The Judges: front row from the left: Gabrielle Kirk McDonald (USA); Antonio (Nino) Cassese (President); Elizabeth Odio Benito (Costa Rica). Middle row from left – behind Judges McDonald and Cassese – Jules Deschênes (Canada); Rustam S. Sidhwa (Pakistan); Lal Chand Vohrah (Malaysia) and Sir Ninian Stephen (Australia). Back row from left: Adolphus Godwin Karibi-Whyte (Nigeria); Georges Michel Abi-Saab (Egypt); Haopei Li (China) and Claude Jorda (France) – 1995. 

It follows the murky path created by those who did not want to see NATO forces involved in the apprehension of indicted war criminals. This was despite the obvious fact that such an outcome would help achieve a lasting peace in the Balkans, thus allowing the ICTY to complete its mandate from the UN Security Council to both investigate and prosecute those individuals most responsible for the horrific crimes being committed in the former Yugoslavia.

And it outlines how the Kosovo conflict brought about the indictment and prosecution of Slobodan Milosevic, the first political leader of any country to be indicted for war crimes and genocide.

Much of this story has never been told before.

The publication also demonstrates how the many Australians involved in the success of the ICTY punched above their weight and illustrates why it is essential to have experienced and qualified staff involved in the process. It is a stark example of the harm a “rouge prosecutor” can have on the legal process, especially if unqualified and inexperienced staff are involved in advising such a prosecutor.

At a time when Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine has again brought the prosecution of modern war crimes to the fore, this book is a timely reminder highlighting the difficulty and complexities involved in that process. The permanent International Criminal Court (ICC) based in The Hague will play a key role in the prosecution of Vladimir Putin and those under his control. Without the success of the ICTY there would be no ICC to carry out such a difficult task.

The book will be of interest to all students of International Humanitarian Law; international journalists and others who followed the work of the Tribunal; historians; former staff of the Tribunal; and the general reader.

The Tribunal’s website contains a wealth of important and historical information: