Speaking of Legacy: Toward an Ethos of Modesty at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
39 Pages Posted: 27 Apr 2016 Last revised: 29 Apr 2016
Date Written: April 1, 2016
This paper is the longer version of an article that will appear in a Symposium in the American Journal of International Law on the legacy of the ad hoc tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda.
Even before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda had closed down, there was already much talk about its legacy. This article demonstrates a sharp contrast between the ambiguities of what is and can be known about the Tribunal's legacy and the certainty of the assertions made in the field and by the Tribunal itself about what it will have been. Building on social theorist Zygmunt Bauman's work on "bids for immortality", we identify the phenomenon of "legacy talk": attempts to consolidate a set of interpretations about the substance and value of what is left prior to the departure of the legator.
Keywords: legacy, International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, ICTR, Rwanda, international criminal justice, immortality
JEL Classification: K14, K33, N4, N40, N47
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation