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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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Agnieszka Bieńczyk-Missala - Early Warning and the Prevention of Atrocity Crimes: The Role of the United Nations


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Agnieszka Bieńczyk-Missala

Early Warning and the Prevention of Atrocity Crimes: the Role of the United Nations

The idea of preventing mass atrocities became part of the international order after World War II. Yet it was not until the 1990s that the actual debate about the practical aspects of prevention began. At the time, the international community realized that it had not been able to respond effectively to mass violations of Human Rights, and that it should be more focused on prevention. This chapter first outlines the emergence of the idea of prevention in the context of the development of the UN system of Human Rights protection. The system is largely a consequence of World War II and a product of the Cold War era. It has a clear preventive dimension, especially if it is coupled with monitoring the Human Rights situation as well as promotion and education in this regard. This chapter describes the main reasons behind the decision of the UN General Assembly to adopt “R2P” in 2005 and then presents the preventive instruments that are available to and used by the UN.

The United Nations Human Rights protection system

The preventive idea is enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations of June 26, 1945. Bearing in mind past wars, the states undertook to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war” and to “reaffirm faith in fundamental Human Rights, in the dignity and worth of...

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