International criminal justice is not a panacea, O'Brien goes on to say, but it 'responds to the aspirations of people everywhere' - and that is true.
Less than 20 years ago, the prospect of holding individuals personally accountable for international crimes so serious that they shock the conscience of mankind seemed illusory. Impunity for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes was tolerated, and the gravest of crimes went unpunished.
For several decades, the voices of victims who suffered unimaginable atrocities went unheard as the international community struggled to build upon the legacy of the Nuremberg and Tokyo tribunals.
The tide has finally turned. Today, those responsible for genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and other gross violations of international humanitarian and human rights law are being held accountable. Heads of state and senior officials can no longer hide from justice.