Looking for ‘Justice’ in All the Wrong Places: An International Mechanism or Multidimensional Domestic Strategy for Mass Human Rights Violations in Sri Lanka?

"Looking for ‘Justice’ in all the Wrong Places: An International Mechanism or Multidimensional Domestic Strategy for Mass Human Rights Violations in Sri Lanka?" in Amarnath Amarasingam & Daniel Bass eds., Post-War Sri Lanka: Problems and Prospects (Hurst/Oxford University Press, 2015)

Osgoode Legal Studies Research Paper No. 07/2015

29 Pages Posted: 30 Jan 2015 Last revised: 16 Apr 2015

See all articles by Sujith Xavier

Sujith Xavier

University of Windsor - Faculty of Law

Date Written: January 29, 2015

Abstract

I use the United Nations Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka’s recommendation to create an international mechanism and recent demands for justice as a springboard to argue that the creation of a new ad hoc international or hybrid criminal tribunal for Sri Lanka may not produce the expected results of prosecuting those responsible for mass human rights violations. I argue that such an initiative will not heal the ruptures and cleavages among the different ethnic communities in Sri Lanka. By teasing out the political nature of international criminal law and the embedded nature of the history of international law, this chapter suggests that the creation of an international institution may not bring to justice the divergent perpetrators of war crimes. Rather, the politics of international institutions and the history of international law may allow for ‘regulatory capture’ and the continuing rise of international experts as seen through the illustrative history of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

Keywords: Sri Lanka, transitional justice, international criminal law

JEL Classification: K33

Suggested Citation

Xavier, Sujith, Looking for ‘Justice’ in All the Wrong Places: An International Mechanism or Multidimensional Domestic Strategy for Mass Human Rights Violations in Sri Lanka? (January 29, 2015). "Looking for ‘Justice’ in all the Wrong Places: An International Mechanism or Multidimensional Domestic Strategy for Mass Human Rights Violations in Sri Lanka?" in Amarnath Amarasingam & Daniel Bass eds., Post-War Sri Lanka: Problems and Prospects (Hurst/Oxford University Press, 2015); Osgoode Legal Studies Research Paper No. 07/2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2557478

Sujith Xavier (Contact Author)

University of Windsor - Faculty of Law ( email )

401 Sunset Avenue
Windsor, Ontario N9B 3P4
Canada

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