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Timing Justice: Lessons from the Tribunals in Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Cambodia.

Whaley, Zoe B.
June 4, 2015

Source: (2009) Honors Projects. Paper 22. Macalester College.

Scholarship on tribunals for mass human rights violations overlooks how the presence or
absence of conflict influences its effectiveness. I argue that implementing a tribunal
during conflict undermines its ability to effectively pursue justice—as I demonstrate with
a case study of the Yugoslav Tribunal. Ongoing conflict makes challenges of transitional
justice more acute. The absence of conflict eases a tribunal’s ability to carry out certain
necessary activities such as collecting evidence. I demonstrate this using a case study of
the Rwanda Tribunal. Examining tribunals in Sierra Leone and Cambodia suggests that
hybrid structures influence the effectiveness of these accountability mechanisms.(author’s abstract)


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