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American Immunity:War Crimes and the Limits of International Law

Hagopian, Patrick (2013) American Immunity:War Crimes and the Limits of International Law. University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst, Mass. ISBN 9781625340467

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Abstract

This book is a study of the “jurisdictional gap” that existed for 40 years as a result of a United States Supreme Court decision in 1955. This decision determined that U.S. military veterans could not be prosecuted by court martial for crimes that they had committed beyond the nation’s borders and which were not detected until the suspects were separated from the military services. Because of the territorial limitations on the jurisdiction of U.S. civilian courts, this meant that there was no court in which veteran suspects could be tried for war crimes. Consequently, numerous American citizens literally got away with murder. This article traces the legislative history of the attempts to close the jurisdictional gap from 1955 to 2000, when the U.S. Congress vested jurisdiction over such crimes and suspects in federal district courts; it assesses the reasons for the years of failure to pass remedial legislation, as well as the pressures that ultimately led to the passage of the law that plugged the jurisdictional gap; and it analyses the verdicts and implications of the first two cases in which U.S. veterans of the war in Iraq were tried for crimes against Iraqi civilians.

Item Type: Book/Report/Proceedings
Uncontrolled Keywords: military justice ; U.S. history ; war crimes
Subjects: E History America > E151 United States (General)
Departments: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > History
ID Code: 54302
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 21 May 2012 12:25
Refereed?: No
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 24 Nov 2013 13:54
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/54302

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