NGO influence in global governance: achieving transitional justice in Uganda and beyond
Tonny Raymond KirabiraPhD Researcher, Portsmouth Law School, UK

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This paper looks at the interface between non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and international criminal justice, within the broader context of transitional justice (TJ). The unique case of Northern Uganda is used as an example to illustrate the role of NGOs in global governance. Due to the growing demand for criminal accountability as a form of TJ, the paper makes a qualitative assessment of NGO relationships at domestic and global levels. It illustrates how NGOs contribute to the legitimisation of global norms and criminal accountability for international crimes. It reveals an organisational articulation of international criminal justice using victims’ rights discourses and interventions. It is shown that international NGOs assert a form of sociological legitimacy in support of the International Criminal Court. The paper concludes that there is still a compelling case to be made for the involvement of NGOs in global governance. The impact of this research serves to invite further reflection on the work of NGOs, uncovering their critical role in the domestic implementation of global norms within the context of TJ.

Contributor Notes

My deep thanks to Line Engbo Gissel for her helpful comments and input on a draft of this paper. Thanks also to Professor Leïla Choukroune for the guidance and encouragement on my research. The paper also benefited greatly from comments and input from Padraig McAuliffe, the editors and anonymous reviewers of the Cambridge International Law Journal, and the participants at the 10th Annual Cambridge International Law Conference.

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