Hybrids or Mongrels? Internationalized War Crimes Trials as Unsuccessful Degradation Ceremonies
Journal of Human Rights, Vol. 4, 2005
19 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2007
Using the framework for analysis of criminal trial provided by Harold Garfinkel in 1961 in his "Conditions of successful degradation ceremonies, the author examines how hybrid war crimes trials balance appeals to international and local communities and their moralities. At present, he argues, hybrid tribunals risk descending into moral confusion, defeating the process whereby war crimes trials transform local morality to align it with international norms. Worse, they may risk allowing local actors to transmute unsuccessful degradation ceremonies into successful martyrdoms, reinforcing regressive national, tribal, and other group solidarities that the trial process seeks, in part, to address.
Keywords: war crimes, internatonal criminal law, hybrid tribunals, Sierra Leone, Cambodia
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