Justice after War

Oxford Handbook of the Ethics of War, edited by Helen Frowe & Seth Lazar (Oxford University Press, Forthcoming)

Cornell Legal Studies Research Paper No. 15-04

32 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2014 Last revised: 2 Mar 2015

See all articles by Jens David Ohlin

Jens David Ohlin

Cornell University - School of Law

Date Written: November 29, 2014

Abstract

After the conclusion of hostilities, whether formal armed conflict or not, parties must be held to account for their behavior. This sentiment is almost universally shared, regardless of one’s moral or ethical framework, though the specifics of this accounting are deeply controversial and contested. In Part 2 of this brief commentary, I offer a normative foundation for justice after war that appeals to the anti-impunity norm. I conclude that criminal trials, as opposed to non-penal mechanisms, best vindicate the anti-impunity norm. In light of this conclusion, Part 3 asks how we should achieve justice after war: who should be put on trial (leaders or foot soldiers), who should prosecute them (national or international courts), which crimes they should be charged with (domestic or international crimes), which procedures should govern the trials, and how (and why) they should be punished.

Keywords: international criminal law, impunity, anti-impunity norm, jus post bellum, international criminal procedure, punishment, retributivism

Suggested Citation

Ohlin, Jens David, Justice after War (November 29, 2014). Oxford Handbook of the Ethics of War, edited by Helen Frowe & Seth Lazar (Oxford University Press, Forthcoming) ; Cornell Legal Studies Research Paper No. 15-04. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2531963

Jens David Ohlin (Contact Author)

Cornell University - School of Law ( email )

218 Myron Taylor Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853-4901
United States
(607) 255-0479 (Phone)
(607) 255-7193 (Fax)

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