The Rise, and Fall, and Rise, of International Criminal Justice

Akhavan, Payam
July 2013
Journal of International Criminal Justice;Jul2013, Vol. 11 Issue 3, p527
Academic Journal
The era of romanticization of international criminal justice, ushered in during the 1990s is over. As romance fades, we are confronted with grim reality: the constraints and complexities of international criminal justice, the selectivity, the price tag, the inordinate length of international trials. Yet, the goals and objectives of international criminal justice must be (re)defined in order to assess success or failure. Success is when the International Criminal Court (ICC) remains idle: by preventing the commission of mass atrocities in the first place, and by empowering national jurisdictions. Reconciliation, on the other hand, can be no more than an incidental outcome of international criminal justice, not its purpose. All in all, there is a need to creatively confront the challenges the ICC’s normative empire faces today, for international criminal justice to rise again with adjusted expectations.


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