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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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Patrycja Grzebyk - International Tribunals’ Selective Justice towards African States


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Patrycja Grzebyk

International Tribunals’ Selective Justice Towards African States


States emerging from armed conflicts or crises face numerous political and economic obstacles as well as obstacles of a legal nature. Paramount among the legal issues essential for rebuilding a democratic, united, peaceful society respecting the rule of law is the question of accountability of those who committed international crimes like genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. In some instances, states seek aid from the international community. This is especially the case when their own judicial system is unable to address those crimes (e.g., in case of Rwanda of 1994). In other instances, the international community feels obliged to intervene in order to punish the perpetrators of atrocities, even against the will of the state’s authorities (e.g., in the case of Darfur – Sudan). The question thus arises whether international criminal tribunals, i.e. the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), are effective in supporting African states emerging from conflicts in dealing with international crimes and in fostering the development of the kind of environment necessary to establish the rule of law in those states. This question is crucial especially in light of the recently tense relations between the African states gathered in the African Union and the International Criminal Court.

The International Criminal Court was established in 1998 (its statute entered into force in 2002), and it has issued its first judgments, not...

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