While recent events in the former Yugoslavia have cast doubt on the authority of the United Nations and the ability of that body to deal with recalcitrant belligerent powers, they have, arguably, done more than any other conflict or event since World War II to elevate the status of international humanitarian law and to awaken the world to the importance of its role in the global community. Not since 1945 has substantive and procedural international law stood to gain so much in terms of development and prestige as it does today. The battle for territory in the former Yugoslavia has created what is perhaps the ideal laboratory for testing the mettle of modern humanitarian law and the resolve of those who wield it.
Kevin R. Chaney, Pitfalls and Imperatives: Applying the Lessons of Nuremberg to the Yugoslav War Crimes Trials, 14 Penn St. Int'l L. Rev. 57 (1995).