Prosecuting Human Rights Violations in Europe and America: How Legal System Structure Affects Compliance with International Obligations

Will states really live up to these obligations? Are some states, and some legal systems, better equipped to do so than others? After all, it is one thing to commit to prosecuting horrendous offenses, or to recognize that there is an obligation under customary international law to do so, yet it is quite another to actually prosecute the perpetrators of such an offense; this is particularly the case when the government has a strong desire not to prosecute, because the accused are members of the government, because they are strong supporters of it, because they are foreign allies of the government, or because the accuseds’ government might somehow make life uncomfortable for the government of the prosecuting state. Parts II, III, and IV of this Note seek to examine these issues.