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The origin and enforcement of criminal law are central to the sociological study of crime, yet we know relatively little about how the coercive apparatus of criminalization is actualized through prosecutorial and court practices. We use Bourdieu's extension of Weber's analysis of law to develop a perspective on fields of practice, the juridical field and the force of law at The Hague Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Our research is based on four years of prosecutor interviews, courtroom observations and analyses of trials covering four prosecutorial regimes. Successive and competitive practices have created an interlocking and cumulative force that is a prerequisite to promoting international humanitarian law.