Research Handbook on Transitional Justice
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Research Handbook on Transitional Justice

Edited by Cheryl Lawther, Luke Moffett and Dov Jacobs

Providing detailed and comprehensive coverage of the transitional justice field, this Research Handbook brings together leading scholars and practitioners to explore how societies deal with mass atrocities after periods of dictatorship or conflict. Situating the development of transitional justice in its historical context, social and political context, it analyses the legal instruments that have emerged.
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Chapter 15: The International Criminal Court: In the interests of transitional justice?

James Gallen


This chapter examines the relationship of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and transitional justice. It considers claims of how prosecutions contribute to the pursuit of accountability under different conceptions of transitional justice. Second, it examines the Rome Statute of the ICC and the different evaluative frameworks that can be used to assess its function. Third, it reviews the existing practice of the ICC, including the role of the Office of the Prosecutor in Africa, the Court’s response to victims and its use of reparations. The chapter also argues that, while the Rome Statute contains innovative provisions for victim participation and reparations to victims, realizing the potential of these provisions remains contingent on efficient and responsive management by the Court of the needs of victims, and depends on alignment and political and financial support from the international community. A final section concludes by noting that, while the ICC is a critical part of the international legal architecture for transitional justice, its effective pursuit of values of international criminal law and transitional justice will be achieved not only through the development of its jurisprudence, but also through careful negotiation of and coordination with international and domestic politics. International Criminal Court; prosecutions; accountability; victims; reparations

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