Bespoke Transitional Justice at the International Criminal Court

12 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2014 Last revised: 1 May 2015

See all articles by Jaya Ramji-Nogales

Jaya Ramji-Nogales

Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law

Date Written: August 28, 2014


This chapter grapples with the question of whether the International Criminal Court should be conceptualized as a mechanism of transitional justice. Most schools of thought insist that transitional justice is either an inappropriate or an unrealistic goal for the Court. Some scholars have proposed that the Court might more accurately be theorized as seeking to achieve political goals through “juridified diplomacy”. Others suggest that the Court should speak primarily to a global, rather than local, audience. A third school of thought criticizes international criminal law as insufficiently focused on the preferences of societies affected by mass violence. Going one step further, some theorists suggest that the Court should be set aside in favor of mechanisms that are more responsive to local preferences. Though the incorporation of the International Criminal Court into a “locally owned” transitional justice paradigm faces substantial challenges, this chapter draws on a theory of bespoke transitional justice to suggest ways in which this knotty relationship might be better designed.

Keywords: International Criminal Court, transitional justice, juridified diplomacy

JEL Classification: K33

Suggested Citation

Ramji-Nogales, Jaya, Bespoke Transitional Justice at the International Criminal Court (August 28, 2014). Temple University Legal Studies Research Paper 2014-31, Available at SSRN: or

Jaya Ramji-Nogales (Contact Author)

Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law ( email )

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