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Reassessing the Role of International Criminal Law: Rebuilding National Courts through Transnational Networks

87 Pages Posted: 14 Mar 2008 Last revised: 13 Apr 2009

Elena A. Baylis

University of Pittsburgh - School of Law

Date Written: April 8, 2009

Abstract

The international community has long debated its role in redressing grave atrocities like war crimes and crimes against humanity. This Article suggests that this debate has focused too much on trials in international and hybrid courts as the primary conduit for international contributions to justice in post-conflict states. It proposes that the international community should look instead to national courts as the primary venue for such trials and to transnational networks as an effective mechanism for international involvement. Key characteristics of this model include: (1) reliance on transnational networks to convey international criminal law and international resources into national settings; (2) hybrid international-national processes in which international actors play a supporting, rather than a controlling, role; and (3) integration of international support for atrocity trials into broader efforts to rebuild national judicial systems.

Keywords: Crimes against humanity, war crimes, Hybrid courts, International criminal courts, National courts, Legal pluralism, Policy-oriented jurisprudence, Post-conflict justice, Transitional justice, Transnational legal process, Transnational judicial dialogue, Transnational networks

JEL Classification: K14, K33, K41, K42

Suggested Citation

Baylis, Elena A., Reassessing the Role of International Criminal Law: Rebuilding National Courts through Transnational Networks (April 8, 2009). Boston College Law Review, Vol. 50, No. 1, 2009; U. of Pittsburgh Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2008-06. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1105244

Elena A. Baylis (Contact Author)

University of Pittsburgh - School of Law ( email )

3900 Forbes Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States

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