The Sun Climbs Slow

The International Criminal Court and the Struggle for Justice

Publisher: Vintage Canada
A powerful investigation of the story and individuals behind America’s refusal to acknowledge international law and an inquiry into the urgent role of international criminal justice from the award-winning, bestselling author of Long Shadows.

In this groundbreaking investigation, Erna Paris explores the history of global justice, the politics behind America’s opposition to the creation of a permanent international criminal court, and the implications for the world at large.

At the end of the twentieth century, two extraordinary events took place. The first was the end of the Cold War, which left the world with a single empire that dominated global affairs with a ready fist. The second event was the birth of the International Criminal Court–the first permanent tribunal of its kind. The ICC prosecutes crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide. Its mandate is to confront impunity and demand accountability for the worst crimes known.

But on March 11, 2003, when the new court was inaugurated in a moving ceremony, one country was conspicuously missing from the celebrations. The government of the United States had made it clear that the International Criminal Court was not consistent with American goals and values.

The Sun Climbs Slow grapples with an emerging dilemma of the twenty-first century: the tension between unchallenged political power and the rule of international law.

The legacy of the twentieth century is one of unsurpassed brutality. Within the span of one century, we have witnessed the genocide of Armenian civilians by the Turks in 1915; the murderous Japanese assault on Nanjing, China, in 1937; the Nazi Holocaust against the Jews in mid-century; the special horror of Josef Stalin’s crimes against his own people; apartheid in South Africa; the annihilation of millions of Cambodians by their fellow countryman, Pol Pot; the grotesque cruelties of Idi Amin in Uganda; vicious genocides in Yugoslavia and Rwanda; and the ongoing shame of Darfur, the Congo, and the other warring regions of the African continent. What, then, is the simple, powerful idea behind this great gathering? The International Criminal Court’s mandate is to prosecute the perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, the most serious offenses ever codified, making it a newborn with enough muscle to influence the way nations, and especially their leaders, consider their choices. It has been mandated to mount an assault on the age-old scourge of criminal impunity, on behalf of the peoples of the world.
—from
The Sun Climbs Slow


From the Hardcover edition.

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The Sun Climbs Slow

On April 27, 1941, the British prime minister Winston Churchill addressed his people in a nationwide radio broadcast. The world was at war, and the war was going badly for the Allies. That very day Greece had surrendered to the Nazis and Yugoslavia had done the same just ten days earlier. Britain...
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PRAISE FOR

Praise for The Sun Climbs Slow:

"In The Sun Climbs Slow Erna Paris describes, movingly and convincingly, the dawn of a new age of international law. There could be no better guide to the emerging world in which no guilty person, however powerful, can escape responsibility for acts of barbarism. Obligatory reading for the forward looking."
—John Polanyi, Nobel Laureate

"Erna Paris takes us on a compelling journey into the dramatic events behind the creation of the International Criminal Court. The court symbolizes the growing global determination to end impunity for the perpetrators of atrocities. Yet this vision of universal justice has been anathema to those in Washington who disdain any international oversight of their exceptional power. As Paris vividly demonstrates, this contempt also underscores the Bush administration's decision to combat terrorism by flouting the most basic legal constraints."
—Kenneth Roth, Executive Director, Human Rights Watch

"The Sun Climbs Slow is essential reading for anyone interested in the evolution of the International Criminal Court and the future of international criminal justice. Erna Paris’ personal interviews with key figures in this emerging world are fascinating and important."
—Richard Goldstone, former Chief Prosecutor of the UN Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, and retired Justice of the  South Africa Constitutional Court
 
"Quite simply the best accessible introduction to the big themes in international criminal justice. Erna Paris has combined unique interview material, relevant historical background and fine political analysis to produce a highly readable and informative portrait of our modern-day Nurembergs."
—William A. Schabas, Director, Irish Centre for Human Rights, National University of Ireland, Galway

“[A] beautifully written and utterly compelling book . . . [Paris] relates the story in its full context, taking the reader on a fast-paced tour from ancient Greece to the Nuremburg trials to the end of the Cold War and beyond. Paris’s ability to convey the human dimension of international criminal justice is what makes this book special.” –The Globe and Mail

“Paris writes beautifully . . . This is a book worth reading.” –Winnipeg Free Press

“[Paris] masters an enormous amount of historical detail with intelligent arguments and captivating prose. . . . her new book offers a sound introduction to a complex topic. . . . [A] solid effort. And in her careful delineation of the tortuous path to the inauguration of the ICC, Paris offers an optimistic and timely vision of the court’s potential.” –The Gazette (Montreal)


From the Hardcover edition.