The idea of justice occupies an ill-defined space within international law, as an ideal that is quite distinct from the law itself and one that international law should not be specifically concerned with as a structuring force. Thinking about the justice of international law raises disciplinary and methodological dilemmas. International justice can be understood as merely the sort of justice that is produced institutional by international jurisdictions, a limited meaning that has nonetheless evolved considerably as a result of international law’s own evolutions and that provides a first rough map as to where might one locate justice within international law. Rather than international lawyers extrapolating about the sort of justice that courts, in fact, produce, one can alternatively think of international justice as a branch of political theory looking from the outside at the sort of arrangements that international law promotes, not just judicially but most importantly substantively. Not all theories of justice are interested in how actual international law works, but some are. Classical international lawyers may find some affinity with the more statist and communitarian-oriented forms of theorizing about international justice. Finally, a number of thinkers operating at the intersection of law and philosophy have sought to conceptualize the justice of international law starting not from ideal theories of justice but the actual practice of international law. Although this can be a methodologically fraught exercise that can end up in an apology of the morality of international law, it is also one that takes the specificity of international legal justice outputs seriously and seeks to understand international law on its own terms.
Frédéric Mégret and Raphael Vagliano
This chapter presents a succinct overview of how international human rights law has shaped the field of transitional justice. It surveys human rights bodies’ treatment of the primary areas to be adjudicated in transitional contexts: amnesties, retroactive application of criminal measures, reparations, restitution of property, purges and vetting procedures, and power-sharing frameworks in constitutions. In general, human rights have served as both an impetus for undertaking transitional processes as well as a constraint on legitimate judicial and extrajudicial measures available to post-transition governments. However, the impact of human rights on the manifold dilemmas in transitional justice has been uneven, with human rights bodies willing to play a more active role in certain areas than others. Human rights; international human rights law; accountability; reparations; societal reform
Frédéric Mégret and Benoît Mayer
In 2007, 2011 and 2015, the Council held special meetings to discuss ways of fighting the impact of climate change, including the possibility of deploying ‘green helmets’. There is a sense that the Council should have something to say on climate change, but the Council has struggled to define its role. The question of global migration flows has featured rather prominently in the Security Council’s meetings on global warming. Yet, these meetings have identified no evident concrete measures that the Security Council could realistically take to address either ‘climate migration’ as a whole, or even specific implications of climate change on human mobility. This chapter shows that the case for action of the Security Council in relation to climate migration is fraught with difficulties.
Philipp Kastner and Frédéric Mégret
This chapter focuses on cybercriminal activities that cannot easily be regulated by states via existing means, either because new criminal elements are involved or because the scale and the transnational dimension of a particular activity necessitate international cooperation. While many crimes committed by means of a computer are not essentially new crimes and can be subsumed under extant definitions and be dealt with by domestic legal systems, some criminal activities require specific legal responses at the international level. The chapter gives an overview of these crimes, examines initiatives that have been undertaken to fight them, and discusses particular challenges, notably with respect to jurisdiction. It concludes that the various multilateral initiatives, above all the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime, are valuable, since they lay the groundwork for greater cooperation between states. However, more comprehensive approaches that integrate a deeper understanding of the functioning of information technology may be required. Global cooperation, beyond state or regional boundaries, and across the state/non-state divide, is needed to deal with many forms of cybercrime.