Do international tribunals and war crime trials deter people from committing war crimes?Probably not, says an editorial in Bloomberg Businessweek. High profile war crime and genocide trials don’t seem to have deterred the Libyan, Syrian, Yemeni and Bahraini governments from some pretty dicey steps — and extremely brutal wars continue to grind on across Africa and in the Middle East. War crimes trials are for losers; if the war crime works, you will never go to jail.Even so, some crimes must be punished, and if you cannot catch all the criminals you should punish the ones you can. Justice, not deterrence, is what this is really about — and justice should be served.That said, every legal system needs a pardoning power. Not every prosecution makes sense. One problem in dealing with the Assads and their like is that offering a conditional pardon may sometimes be a way of getting the tyrants out while saving innocent lives — but that is hard to do with the system we have.We need a pardoning power in the war crimes judicial system — but it won’t be easy to get agreement on what that should look like or how it will work.