Tasked with implementing the various and broad aims of international criminal justice, war crimes tribunals face unique challenges. Chief among these challenges lie basic questions of jurisdiction, applicable law, and appropriate consequences. This chapter provides an overview of war crimes tribunals and offers a framework for evaluating whether their challenges hamper their effectiveness or provide impetus for their most important contributions to international humanitarian law. The chapter begins by briefly examining the history of war crimes tribunals from Nuremberg to the present, highlighting attempts by each iteration of courts to address their predecessors' challenges. The chapter then investigates the jurisprudential contributions of war crimes tribunals to international humanitarian law, focusing on the additional humanitarian protection for women and children provided by heightened attention to sexual violence during armed conflict. Finally, it concludes with a brief assessment of the current issues facing war crimes tribunals.
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