(New York) - The international war crimes tribunals have made precedent-setting decisions on genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, Human Rights Watch said today in a new comprehensive book that organizes by topic the decisions of the International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia.

"The work of the two ad hoc tribunals represents the most significant effort since Nuremberg to bring perpetrators of the most serious crimes to justice," said Richard Dicker, director of Human Rights Watch's International Justice Program.  
 
Although not without shortcomings, the tribunals' work has been immensely important in holding numerous perpetrators of horrific crimes accountable and delivering the crucial message that serious crimes will not go unpunished, Human Rights Watch said.  
 
The new Human Rights Watch book organizes the tribunals' decisions by topic, including genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, individual criminal responsibility, command responsibility and sentencing.  
 
"This book makes the important jurisprudence produced by the tribunals uniquely accessible," said Dicker. "The tribunals' decisions on genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes will be highly significant for future efforts to bring accountability for such crimes."  
 
The volume, which is available online and in print, is oriented to practitioners and staff at new institutions established to try such crimes-such as the International Criminal Court and the Sierra Leone Special Court. The book will also serve as a tool for academics, nongovernmental organizations in the field, and students interested in international criminal justice, Human Rights Watch said.