The Local, Resilience, and the Future of Hybrid Courts in International Criminal Law

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapterpeer-review


After a first ‘wave’ of hybrid, or internationalised, criminal tribunals around 20 years ago, the model of hybridity has made a remarkable comeback in recent years. Notably, a Special Criminal Court (SCC) was established in the Central African Republic (CAR) in 2015. The CAR constitutes an intriguing site of multiple approaches to dealing with serious crimes because the International Criminal Court, among others, also investigates in this country.

The dominant discourses promoted by international and specialised non-governmental organisations as well as by criminal justice institutions themselves still rely on prescriptive universal norms, which are seen as underpinning the exceptionality of international(ised) justice interventions. At the same time, important attempts have been made to render international(ised) justice more accessible and relevant to local communities. This turn to the local also manifests itself in the context of hybrid tribunals, which are meant to combine elements of the international and national spheres and can usefully be analysed through the concept of resilience. Although this is a prominent concept that has pervaded various policy areas, including national security and peacebuilding, international criminal law discourses and scholarship have, so far, remained surprisingly indifferent to it.

Discussing the future of hybrid tribunals like the SCC and relying on a critical approach to resilience that allows exposing common – often neoliberal – assumptions and practices, this chapter highlights some of the shortcomings of the currently dominant approach to dealing with large-scale violence. As the chapter also cautions, adopting, whether consciously or unconsciously, the logic of resilience thinking bears important dangers for hybrid tribunals and for the field of international(ised) criminal justice more generally.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Futures of International Criminal Justice
EditorsEmma Palmer, Susan Harris-Rimmer, Edwin Bikundo, Martin Clark
Place of PublicationUK
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-003-08753-3
ISBN (Print)978-0-367-54074-6
Publication statusPublished - 2021


Dive into the research topics of 'The Local, Resilience, and the Future of Hybrid Courts in International Criminal Law'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this