Kathryn Sikkink examines the important and controversial new trend of holding political leaders criminally accountable for human rights violations. She shows how, in three decades, state leaders in Latin America, Europe and Africa have lost their immunity from accountability, becoming the subjects of highly publicised trials resulting in severe consequences. This shift is affecting the behaviour of political leaders and may change the face of global politics. Drawing on extensive research and personal experience, Sikkink reveals how the emergence of human rights prosecutions has come about; what effect it has had on democracy, conflict and repression; and what it means for leaders and citizens everywhere. The Justice Cascade is a vital read for anyone interested in the future of world politics and human rights.