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The Legacy of Crimes and Crises

Transitional Justice, Domestic Change and the Role of the International Community


Edited By Klaus Bachmann and Dorota Heidrich

The book shows how transitional justice experiences influence domestic change and what the role of the international community in these processes is. It is divided into three thematic parts. The first one presents regional and local transitional justice efforts, aiming at showing different mechanisms implemented within transitional justice mechanisms. The following part deals with the role and impact of international criminal tribunals set up to prosecute grave human rights abuses. The third part is devoted to the role of the international community in mass atrocity crimes prevention. The contributions prove that transitional justice measures are not universal. Rather, they must be characterized by the principle of local ownership and be crafted to circumstances on the ground.
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Klaus Bachmann - The Loathed Tribunal. Public Opinion in Serbia Toward the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia


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Klaus Bachmann

The Loathed Tribunal: Public Opinion in Serbia toward the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY)1

In the vast literature about Transitional Justice and International Criminal Law, international criminal tribunals occupy a special place, especially in the context of the “fight against impunity” that sees retributive justice as the main measure for addressing past atrocities and Human Rights abuses. International criminal tribunals ad hoc in particular are almost sheer retributive mechanisms – their focus on victims is subordinated to the objective of establishing guilt; they concentrate on the perpetrators, who are to be isolated from society, punished, and delegitimized for their past conduct. In contrast to the International Criminal Court (ICC), ad hoc tribunals were neither empowered to deal with victims’ compensation nor were they given the task of establishing a record or narrative about the past (although some actors at International Criminal Tribunals (ICTs) intended to do this). The UN ad hoc tribunals were meant to be instruments for the prosecution of perpetrators2 and nothing more, but nevertheless, their activities were accompanied by far-reaching hopes and expectations. They were tasked with “contributing to stability and peace”3 and even to “reconciliation.”4 Both the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) also developed a number of additional objectives they wanted to achieve. By establishing outreach mechanisms, ← 113 | 114 → they intended to promote International Criminal Law, Human Rights and to fight...

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