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Collected essays, 2008-2010: Debating international justice in Africa

June 6, 2010

Note: One essay, The Force of Law and Problem of Impunity, by Yvonne Malan, includes this summary:

This essay focuses on why non-judicial approaches to transitional justice are less effective than is often claimed and why prosecutions are an important way of dealing with past injustice. It is often overlooked that arguments in favour of reconciliation have become a useful way to defend amnesty and impunity. Part of the uproar over Ocampo’s decision is based on a school of thought that has demonised criminal trials as a way of dealing with the past. There are of course other arguments against the ICC’s decision, but what I want to focus on is the prejudice against criminal trials and the dangers of non-judicial approaches.

The following essay, Bashir and the ICC: The aura or audition of international justice in Africa? by Stephen Oola, takes a contrary position:

Over the last four years, Ocampo’s ICC has increasingly resembled a misguided missile. To advocate for punitive justice only for Africa is to miss the target of comprehensive justice in the fight against impunity. Africa comprises societies accustomed to restorative justice approaches. Having suffered atrocities and abuses over decades, the fabric of African societies is torn and demands something more than convictions and imprisonment. The restoration of peace might be the first measure of justice in all of the African situations currently under investigation by the ICC.

Read the whole collection.


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