Source: (2002) Human Rights Quarterly. 24: 573–639.

As Laurel Fletcher and Harvey Weinstein note at the outset of their paper, there has been a growing interest in recent years in the question of how countries recover from episodes of mass violence or gross human rights violations perpetrated by and upon their own people or peoples. In this regard, much attention has been given to transitional justice, to processes whereby a state or society seeks to deal with the violations of a prior period or prior government. A prominent response for responding to mass violence and gross human rights violations, write Fletcher and Weinstein, has been international trials for individual perpetrators of war crimes and other serious offenses against international law. Some who advocate this approach conceive of international criminal trials as the centerpiece of social repair, with “social reconciliationâ€? as one of the mandates of such proceedings. Fletcher and Weinstein explore the limitations of international trials, and they offer a new model to understand the contribution of trials to social reconstruction.