Re-Constructing History Through Courts? Legacy in International Criminal Justice

13 Pages Posted: 10 Jun 2015

See all articles by Carsten Stahn

Carsten Stahn

Leiden University - Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies

Date Written: June 9, 2015

Abstract

Legacy plays an increasing role in the work of international courts and tribunals. But it remains under-theorized as a concept. Court strategies navigate between re-production of the past and societal transformation. Many of the lasting effects of criminal proceedings are not tied to the legal reasoning of judgments, but specific incidents or performative aspects of trials, and their reception. This contribution examines legacy strategies and their critiques. It shows that the turn to legacy is partly an expression of the role of courts as social agents and geared towards the production of ‘global’ legacies. It argues that legacy cannot be construed by institutions, but shifts with perceptions over time. It differentiates different types of legacy: juridified legacy, institutional/systemic legacy, performative legacy, re-productive legacy and receptive legacy. It claims that Court-mandated legacy involves a certain degree of social construction and claims of ownership over the past that sit uncomfortably strategies with the thicker fabric of remembrance and collective memory.

Keywords: Legacy, International Criminal Courts and Tribunals, Mandate, Historical Record, Collective Memory

JEL Classification: K33, K14. B30

Suggested Citation

Stahn, Carsten, Re-Constructing History Through Courts? Legacy in International Criminal Justice (June 9, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2616491 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2616491

Carsten Stahn (Contact Author)

Leiden University - Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies ( email )

Leiden University Law Faculty
P.O. Box 9520
Leiden, 2300 RA
Netherlands

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