War Crimes Courts that Reconcile: Oxymoron or Possibility?

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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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This event was on Thu, 18 Apr 2013

Geoffrey Nice

Professor Sir Geoffrey Nice KC

Professor of Law

Sir Geoffrey Nice KC has practised as a barrister since 1971. He worked at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia – the ICTY – between 1998 and 2006 and led the prosecution of Slobodan Milošević, former President of Serbia.

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