This article poses the question as to whether and why States overlook the prosecution of people for war crimes rather than terrorist offences, where war crimes would be preferred. It looks at whether a diverse range of States (Afghanistan, Australia, Mali, the Netherlands and the Russian Federation) are able through their domestic legislation to prosecute people for war crimes or for terrorist offences. It considers what the value of prosecutions is theoretically and legally, and what the impact of prosecutions is practically in a State. It proposes that prosecutors, police and judges should ask the question whether an alleged offender should be prosecuted for war crimes and/or terrorist offences with war crimes being the preferred option where there is evidence that they have been committed.
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