Cosmopolitan Pluralist Hybrid Tribunals

Forthcoming, The Oxford Research Handbook on Global Legal Pluralism (2019)

U. of Pittsburgh Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2019-11

31 Pages Posted: 30 May 2019

See all articles by Elena A. Baylis

Elena A. Baylis

University of Pittsburgh - School of Law

Date Written: April 30, 2019


Hybrid tribunals (also known as internationalized criminal tribunals or hybrid courts) are ad hoc courts that have jurisdiction over atrocity crimes such as genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity and incorporate a blend of international and national components. Hybrid courts are expected to enable engagement between international and domestic legal systems and communities, and thereby to promote transitional justice and rule of law aims. But have hybrid tribunals succeeded in this function? Using cosmopolitan pluralism as a conceptual framework, this article examines the trends in hybrid courts’ original core features of mixed staffing, mixed law, domestic location, and close relationship to the national legal system, as well as the relevance of new elements such as victim participation and domestic outreach. It evaluates internationalized criminal tribunals’ efforts to promote the goals of domestic perceived legitimacy, capacity-building, and norm penetration, assesses the inclusivity of the court design processes. and considers hybrid tribunals’ participation in norm fragmentation in international criminal law. Overall, as institutions, some hybrid tribunals offer substantial opportunities for engagement between international and local actors, while others are significantly constrained by institutional design or operational choices.

Keywords: Hybrid courts, Internationalized criminal courts, Hybrid tribunals, International criminal law, Transitional justice, Post-conflict justice, Pluralism, Global legal pluralism, Cosmopolitan pluralism, Fragmentation

JEL Classification: K33, K14, N40

Suggested Citation

Baylis, Elena A., Cosmopolitan Pluralist Hybrid Tribunals (April 30, 2019). Forthcoming, The Oxford Research Handbook on Global Legal Pluralism (2019), U. of Pittsburgh Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2019-11, Available at SSRN:

Elena A. Baylis (Contact Author)

University of Pittsburgh - School of Law ( email )

3900 Forbes Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States

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