Back to RJ Archive

Why Perpatrators Should Not Always be Prosecuted: Where the International Criminal Court and Truth Commission Meet

Villa-Vicencio, Charles
June 4, 2015

Source: (2000) Emory Law Journal. 49: 205.

The advent of the International Criminal Court marks a significant triumph over lawlessness with respect to war crimes and crimes against humanity. This is morally good, says Charles Villa-Vicencio, yet it is also legally unnerving because it could be interpreted by some as precluding the use of truth commissions in nations to deal with oppressive and violent histories. Thus, Villa-Vicencio looks at the question whether legal absolutism involving a duty to prosecute is necessarily helpful or realistic in national and international disputes involving genocide, terror, and other forms of lawlessness. He argues for principled compromise that ignores neither the realities of political context nor the wisdom of judicial insight (as in international human rights law). Principled compromise, which is the foundation of credible truth commissions, can create a sustainable breakthrough toward achieving peace and reconciliation.


AbstractCourtsDiscovering TruthMeaning of JusticePolicePost-Conflict ReconciliationRJ in SchoolsStatutes and LegislationVictim Support
Support the cause

We've Been Restoring Justice for More Than 40 Years

Your donation helps Prison Fellowship International repair the harm caused by crime by emphasizing accountability, forgiveness, and making amends for prisoners and those affected by their actions. When victims, offenders, and community members meet to decide how to do that, the results are transformational.

Donate Now