The UN Library’s Most Checked Out Book Is About How Not To Be Prosecuted For War Crimes


The world is a messed up place.

Now obviously this is troubling news, there’s no two ways about it. The last thing you want to hear at the start of 2016, is that the delegates of the world checked out a book en masse in 2015 which helps their head of state circumvent war crimes charges from the International Criminals Court.

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We know this was the most sought-after publication because the Dag Hammarskjöld Library at the United Nations in New York decided to announce their most popular book of 2015.

For whatever reason, they didn’t seem to realise the inherent badness in the fact that this book in particular was the most popular:

The text, which is a doctoral thesis from the University of Lucerne by Ramona Pedretti, is all about when world leaders and government officials can and can’t be tried in foreign courts. Essentially a ‘how to not get caught’ book for the child murderers and genocide committers of this world.

Considering the library is mostly used by national delegations from around the world and professional Secretariat staff of the UN, it sure is upsetting that this book about when heads of state are and aren’t immune from war crimes is the most checked-out book of 2015.

blair and gadd

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Officially there are 23 dictatorships in the world, although there are many more awful regimes than that. So the popularity of this book shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise considering how many delegates represent violent regimes.

In the book, Pedretti suggests that while heads of state are generally immune from being charged in foreign courts, this immunity may be removed if they are tried at international tribunals.

I wonder if a copy of this book would have ever found its way into the hands of Tony Blair or George Dubya Bush had it have been around then?


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