International criminal justice describes the response of the international community to mass atrocity. How we respond to war, to the rupture of society and to systematized murder and persecution is at the heart of the issue. Which forms of transitional justice we respond with, and how our goals are best achieved, are important questions. But international criminal justice is about more than responses. How do we learn from history or, sometimes, fail to do so? Can we use our understanding of human psychology to better respond to mass atrocity, or better, to prevent it or react to address it sooner? What of the sociological elements that are infused in our response to heinous international crimes; how do these affect our understanding and practice of international criminal justice? Key words: international; criminal; justice; community; atrocity
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This chapter outlines the core focus of this book, namely the malleability of the structures that underpin poverty and inequality in post-conflict states. It defines what is meant by ‘post-conflict’ for the purposes of the book and argues that certain structural and post-conflict variables have been insufficiently included in fourth-generation transitional justice.
The maintenance of international peace and security is the very first purpose of the United Nations. The International Court of Justice, the single most important source of international jurisprudence in this area, has a clear understanding of this goal and of its role in achieving it. From the landmark Corfu Channel case to the seminal Nicaragua case and afterwards, the International Court of Justice has developed a sustainable case law on the use of force in international law, in which the Nicaragua case endures as the single pre-eminent judgment. This chapter considers three key aspects established by the Court’s case law — the illegality of unilateral uses of force by states, the necessary threshold for a use of force to give rise to an entitlement to self-defense, and the complementarity of action by United Nations organs in this field. KEYWORDS: peace and security judgments, International Court of Justice, Nicaragua case, use of force, aggression, self-defense