Fragmentation and Integration in Human Rights Law
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Fragmentation and Integration in Human Rights Law

Users’ Perspectives

Edited by Eva Brems and Saïla Ouald-Chaib

From the perspective of rights holders and duty bearers, human rights law appears as an increasingly complex field of law, consisting of different levels, actors and norms. The fragmentation of human rights law has resulted in an uncoordinated legal architecture that may in some circumstances create obstacles for effective human rights protection. Against this background, this volume examines how to make sense – in both theoretical and practical terms - of these multiple layers of human rights law through which human rights users have to navigate.
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Chapter 2: Understanding international criminal law from a users’ perspective: pluralism due to contestation, integration through collaboration

Mathias Holvoet and Paul De Hert


This contribution aims to better understand how and why International Criminal Law (ICL) is pluralistic and how this pluralism is at least partly the result of the contesting actions, interests and backgrounds of the various ICL users and the context in which they operate. The hypothesis is that the adoption of a users’ perspective helps to understand ICL pluralism. After a discussion of the various dimensions of pluralism in ICL, this chapter identifies the most important ICL users. Nevertheless, it will also be demonstrated, through the example of the case against the former Chadian dictator Hissène Habré, that pluralism can be overcome, as ICL is also often a collaborative ingenious effort of various users which are able to align their interests in the pursuit international criminal justice.

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