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The end of ‘the end of impunity’? The international criminal court and the challenge from truth commissions.

von Holderstein Holtermann, Jakob
June 4, 2015

Source: (2010) Res Publica. 16:209–225.

With its express intention ‘to put an end to impunity’, the International
Criminal Court (ICC) faces a substantial challenge in the shape of conditional
amnesties granted in future national truth commissions (TCs)—a challenge that
invokes fundamental considerations of criminal justice ethics. In this article, I give
an account of the challenge, and I consider a possible solution to it presented by
Declan Roche. According to this solution the ICC-prosecutor should respect
national amnesties and prosecute and punish only those perpetrators who have
refused to cooperate with the TC. I argue, however, that this compromise is
untenable. As a general rule, if we justify the ICC on grounds of deterrence we
should not accept conditional amnesties granted in national TCs. (Author’s abstract).


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