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The Challenge of a Global Standard of Justice: Peace, Pluralism, and Punishment at the International Criminal Court.

Blumenson, Eric D.
June 4, 2015

Source: (2005) Paper. October 15. Social Science Research Network, SSRN eLibrary. Downloaded 16 November 2005.

This article addresses what is often described as the ‘peace versus justice’ problem, as it
confronts the recently-established International Criminal Court. The problem typically arises
when the threat of prosecution would derail peace negotiations or deter a tyrant from
relinquishing power. If a state grants amnesty or de facto impunity as the price of peace, should
the ICC’s prosecutor bring charges in its stead? This article analyzes the conflicting claims of
peace, pluralism and punishment in such cases by exploring three fundamental questions: (1)
Does justice in the aftermath of crime always require prosecution? (2) If justice does require
prosecution, does this obligation outweigh all other considerations? And (3) as a global
institution, how much deference should the ICC afford to diverse state approaches to the previous
two questions? Given the Rome Statute’s silence on these questions, the ICC will have to develop
its own answers, and these answers will help shape the contours of an emerging global standard
of criminal justice. Author’s abstract.


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