War Crimes Courts that Reconcile: Oxymoron or Possibility?
- Extra Reading
Domestic criminal justice systems have objectives of retribution and deterrence. It is no part of such systems to bring peace and harmony to individuals whose divisions, of whatever kind, have taken shape in a crime. In contrast, international criminal justice systems typically have objectives of bringing reconciliation as well as of deterrence and retribution. Is it realistic to think that these objectives are likely to be compatible? What evidence is there of public pursuit of war criminals bringing peace to a region? If there is little – or even none – should we be troubled? Should we simply say war crimes justice systems are really in place for more limited purposes than may be claimed and other ways must be found to bring to those who will have suffered in war more peaceful futures? Or should the lawyers and judges be reviewing and changing how their trial systems operate to achieve these broader objectives?
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