David Scheffer


On his book All the Missing Souls: A Personal History of the War Crimes Tribunals

Cover Interview of January 31, 2012


Typically, lawyers and jurists who write about this historic and fast-paced evolution of international law serve a very narrow group of interested professionals. I want to bring the story of international justice in our own time to a wide audience of readers.  So the book is populated with the famous and the unknown, the story line transporting the reader deeper into the killing fields and negotiating arenas of international justice.

All the Missing Souls is a book of revealing horror and also exceptional hope.  I want the reader to understand that from the darkness of atrocities there can emerge both retribution against those responsible and the building of peaceful societies alongside the creation of war crimes tribunals.

The end of leadership impunity is within sight now.  The cynics may counsel against the idealism of law defeating the instincts of murderous tyrants.  But here we had a decade when five new war crimes tribunals came to pass, and justice began to prevail.  If the public grasps the significance of this transformational moment in history, there is no turning back.