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In 1648 the Peace of Westphalia established an overriding sovereign authority giving a state freedom of action and unlimited use of power within its own borders. This innovative text is shows how there has been a concerted effort, since the end of World War I, to curb a state's power and freedom of action through the concept of international accountability to a set of recognised rules and norms. A state not only is to adhere to these rules but also can be sanctioned by an international penal process through enforcement of international criminal law. Adoption of the Rome Statute and the creation of the International Criminal Court are the culmination of many years of effort to challenge the power of state action. Scholars and students of international law with an interest in international criminal law will find this volume an interesting narrative of how the developments of international penal mechanisms of the 20th century have contributed to a diminution of state sovereignty.