The system of grave breaches, established in the Conventions, is the focal point of the enforcement mechanism of international humanitarian law in general and of the Conventions in particular. It is therefore surprising that very little has been written to date about this system. This article is intended to fill that gap by discussing the repression -the prohibition, prosecution, and adjudication - of grave breaches of the Conventions. The article's main purpose is to chart and map the basic contours of the terrain of an area which despite its vast significance has not been adequately and systematically explored. It is thus that the article pursues a predominantly descriptive theme. Indeed, such a descriptive project seems necessary for any further informed discussion and evaluation of the grave breaches system in the specific context of the proceedings before the International Tribunal and of this system's usefulness as an enforcement mechanism of international humanitarian law.
The Grave Breaches System and the Armed Conflict in the Former Yugoslavia,
Mich. J. Int'l L.
Available at: http://repository.law.umich.edu/mjil/vol16/iss3/9