Armed conflicts and referrals to the international criminal court: From measuring impact to emerging legal obligations

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Abstract

This article argues that referring situations to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) with the expectation of generating immediate political effects on ongoing armed conflicts is conceptually flawed. The rationale behind the referrals of the situations in northern Uganda and Darfur illustrates that the common attribution of this capacity to the ICC and the dominant underlying notion of peace ç as negative peaceçhave nurtured a persistent dichotomy between peace and justice. Moreover, by drawing on a socio-legal understanding of law, the article claims that instead of focusing on the assumed promise of international criminal justice institutions to generate specific and measurable political outcomes, it would be more constructive to shift our attention from an elusive outcome-to a process-based analysis, and to view the increasingly frequent involvement of these institutions, not only after a conflict has ended but while it is still ongoing, as an emerging and highly influential process-related commitment. © The Author (2014). Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)471-490
JournalJournal of International Criminal Justice
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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