Experience has proven that no international treaty manages to put a stop to war crimes because contemporary wars tend to be ruthless confrontations between unequal enemies who revert to cruel savagery. Moreover, there is an increasing use of forms of combat privatization (for example, via "contractors") that elude the law. Human rights are often used as a means of exchange in order to achieve other goals or attack one's foes. The conversation with Antonio Cassese which is the object of this book is anti-rhetorical and practically oriented and thus underscores the weakness of the law especially among those who are most committed to its establishment. Amidst this bleak social and political environment, this conversation plumbs the depths of human coexistence and emphasizes the decisive role of international public opinion and civil society. Cassese attempts to revive our awareness by recounting - through the memory of the eyes as well as the generosity of the heart - the many encounters and clashes he has experienced during his life as an international judge.
Antonio Cassese teaches International Law and was a member of the United Nations Human Rights Commission, president of European Council Committee against Torture, the first president of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the chairperson for the UN's International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur; he is currently serving as president of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.
Piergiorgio Acquaviva is a news editor and Vatican expert for the QN-Quotidiano Nazionale network of daily newspapers (comprising "Il Giorno", "Il Resto del Carlino", "La Nazione").