Collective Responsibility and Post-Conflict Justice

32 Pages Posted: 10 May 2010

See all articles by Mark Drumbl

Mark Drumbl

Washington and Lee University - School of Law

Date Written: May 6, 2010


How best to secure justice in the aftermath of mass atrocity? International criminal tribunals – and courtrooms and jailhouses generally – have emerged as influential accountability mechanisms. Yet the justice pursued by international criminal tribunals, although tangible, also is strikingly under-inclusive. These limitations suggest that adequately redressing collective violence might contemplate a discursive shift to inclusively incorporating other accountability mechanisms, including collective forms of responsibility. Collective responsibility implies non-criminal sanctions that attach to groups whose misfeasance or nonfeasance is supportive of, acquiescent in, causally connected to, or necessary for serious violations of international criminal law to occur. This paper examines what collective responsibility mechanisms might look like; what ends they might serve; what dangers they pose; and how they might contribute to a more robust instantiation of post-conflict justice.

Keywords: International Courts, International Organizations, International Criminal Tribunals, Post-Conflict Justice

JEL Classification: K10, K14, K33

Suggested Citation

Drumbl, Mark, Collective Responsibility and Post-Conflict Justice (May 6, 2010). Washington & Lee Legal Studies Paper No. 2010-5, Available at SSRN: or

Mark Drumbl (Contact Author)

Washington and Lee University - School of Law ( email )

Sydney Lewis Hall
Lexington, VA 24450
United States
540-458-8531 (Phone)
540-458-8488 (Fax)


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