Scholarship on global justice and the literature on intervention and statebuilding ignored each other until recently. However, these two strands are still engaged in a war of translation, with justice and peace still largely seen as partly irreconcilable goals. This chapter seeks to move beyond the terms of this debate. Building a political sociology of international justice has proven relevant to trace the significance of international norms and international justice institutions in global and domestic politics. This approach focuses on agents, and specifically lawyers, their trajectories and their professional strategies so as to unveil developments that are otherwise left invisible in external intervention practices, notably the structuration, over time, of state power and the trajectory of globalization.
Existing literature largely focuses on providing histories of the emergence of transitional justice through the issues that define transitional justice. Rarely do studies analyze the role of international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the emergence and development of the field. This chapter contributes to filling this gap by providing an account of the genesis and early development of a key non-governmental actor in the field, the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ). Based on a qualitative methodology (foremost biographical interviews with a number of key actors of the organization), it recounts the dynamics that led to the ICTJ’s creation in 2001. The model of the ICTJ as an NGO providing both policy orientations and practical projects emerged out of the laboratories of the Latin American and South African transitions. This chapter also explains the success of the ICTJ in positioning itself as a ‘gate-keeper’ within the field of transitional justice: the combination of resources of the organization (legal, political, academic) has enabled it to straddle adjacent fields – human rights but also peacebuilding and conflict resolution – and constantly expand the boundaries of the field of transitional justice. International NGO’s; International Centre for Transitional Justice; advocacy; operations
Sara Dezalay and Simon Archer
The Trafigura case concerns corporate liability related to environmental damage in a transnational setting, which raises questions of ethical responsibility of multinationals. The main lawsuits took place in Ivory Coast, in the United Kingdom and in the Netherlands. In late 2005, a multinational trading company called Trafigura decided to buy large amounts of an unrefined gasoline in order to use it as a blendstock for fuels. The process of refining this product is known as caustic washing and it was carried out on a ship named Probo Koala. The company knew beforehand that the resulting chemical waste would be difficult to treat or dispose of. On 19 August 2006, Probo Koala unloaded the waste shipment at open-air sites at Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Soon afterwards, according to the allegations in this case, the people living near the discharge sites began to suffer from a range of illnesses. Subsequently, at least 100,000 sought medical attention for conditions which were attributed to the presence of toxic waste and a considerable number of people died. In November 2006, the High Court of Justice in London agreed to hear an action by some 30,000 claimants from the Ivory Coast against Trafigura. Trafigura denied responsibility, claiming that the substances were standard waste from onboard operations of ships that were entrusted to an Ivorian disposal company.