A Synthesis of Community Based Justice and Complementarity
CONTESTED JUSTICE: THE POLITICS AND PRACTICE OF INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT INTERVENTIONS, Carsten Stahn, et. al., eds.,Cambridge University Press, 2016
24 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2012 Last revised: 3 Nov 2015
Date Written: Nov 1, 2015
This chapter examines the most advisable scope of ICC authority in contrast to the traditional dispute mechanisms encountered in Afghanistan [in the context of a weak central authority facing resurgent Taliban influences] and Uganda [in the context of the Lord’s Resistance Army]. Sustainable peace in a situation state may rely on the development of authoritative local actors capable of administering justice/reconciliation grounded in sociological legitimacy. Formalized investigations and prosecutions are a profoundly important dimension of the larger effort to restore the rule of law, and the complementarity regime focuses exclusively on these formal processes in allocating power between the ICC and situation states. From the perspective of victims and community leaders, the external interference of the ICC is in itself a controversial and complex aspect of “justice.” The experience of the Court’s first decade reveals beyond any doubt that its institutional role will be hotly debated by families, communities, and victims most affected by conflicts. Indeed, the balance between prosecutions, reintegration of particular perpetrators, forgiveness, reparations, truth-telling, and apology is itself most delicate process because the fundamental nature of the social contract between the individual and the state is in flux, just as the nature of the relationship between the state and the supranational Court is evolving. To ameliorate what will be a recurring problem as it begins its second decade of operation, the ICC needs to develop a consistent and analytically defensible framework for understanding community based processes in light of the “interests of justice” analysis permitted under Article 53.
Keywords: complementarity, interests of justice, truth-telling, accountability, reconciliation, amnesty, Rome Statute, International Criminal Court, Afghanistan, Uganda, reintegration, LRA
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