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Are International Criminal Tribunals a Disincentive to Peace?: Reconciling Judicial Romanticism with Political Realism

From: Human Rights Quarterly
Volume 31, Number 3, August 2009
pp. 624-654 | 10.1353/hrq.0.0096

Abstract

Abstract:

A significant challenge to the efficacy of international criminal justice in global governance is the view that prosecution of political leaders still in power creates a disincentive to peace and thus prolongs atrocities. While “judicial romantics” are often oblivious to these complexities, the “political realists” have failed to demonstrate that tribunals are in fact an impediment to peace and stability. The impact of the International Criminal Court on three recent situations in Africa suggests that judicial intervention is more likely to help prevent atrocities rather than impede peace, even if arrest warrants cannot be executed.