Truth commissions and the International Criminal Court

Authored by: Helena Flam , Katarina Ristić

The Routledge Handbook of Transregional Studies

Print publication date:  November  2018
Online publication date:  November  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138718364
eBook ISBN: 9780429438233
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter focuses on institutions of ‘global justice’ – that is to say, on institutions dealing with humanitarian law and human rights such as truth commissions (TCs), international criminal tribunals (ICTs), and the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. It also throws some light on their relation to international organizations (IOs) and foundations and, most of all, on their cooperation with transnational non-government organizations (TNGOs). This is, relatively speaking, an under-researched area of study. The first aim of the contribution is to highlight the role of under-highlighted actors and foundations while recounting some familiar narratives about the emergence of the ‘global justice’ institutions since the 1980s. In particular, this chapter pinpoints the role of jet-setting diplomats and Global North-based foundations in promoting transitional justice. Empirical references will buttress the view that we cannot speak of ‘global’ but rather of transnational or transregional, at any rate pointillistic, transitional justice. The text will briefly present three contrasting TCs and ICTs – for Guatemala, the former Yugoslavia, and Cambodia – to underscore the highly contingent outcomes of experiments in transitional justice.

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