Swapping Amnesty for Peace: Was There a Duty to Prosecute International Crimes in Haiti?

42 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2020

See all articles by Michael P. Scharf

Michael P. Scharf

Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Date Written: March 2, 2020

Abstract

By examining the political realities of the Haiti situation and the applicable provisions of treaty and customary law, this Article seeks to assess whether the Haitian amnesty did indeed achieve "a proper mix." To this end, the Article begins with a description of the abuses reportedly committed by Haiti's military regime and the international community's attempts to restore the democratically-elected government to power. Next, it explores the policy arguments for and against amnesty as applied to the Haitian situation and analyzes the scope of both the Haitian amnesty law and President Aristide's amnesty decree. This section is followed by a detailed analysis of the relevant international instruments and customary law that potentially limit a government's prerogative to issue an amnesty. While the Article's main focus is the international law applicable to the Haitian situation, this inquiry has far-reaching implications beyond Haiti's shores, which are explored in the conclusion.

Keywords: Haiti

Suggested Citation

Scharf, Michael P., Swapping Amnesty for Peace: Was There a Duty to Prosecute International Crimes in Haiti? (March 2, 2020). 31 Texas International Law Journal 1 (1996), Case Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1996, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3547532

Michael P. Scharf (Contact Author)

Case Western Reserve University School of Law ( email )

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