The Peace versus Justice Debate Revisited: The ICTY’s Impact on Peace Processes

ICL Lunch with Fulbright Scholar Jacqueline McAllister.

Since the end of the Cold War, international officials have repeatedly charged that international criminal tribunals (ICTs) undermine peace processes. Advocates of ICTs, however, have maintained that there can be no peace without justice. Ultimately, we still know little about wartime ICTs’ actual impact on peace processes. Indeed, to-date international justice scholars have overwhelmingly focused on ICTs’ ability to deter war crimes, largely neglecting the subtle ways that they can specifically influence bargaining. This paper addresses how and when the ICTY affected combatants’ ability to realize negotiated settlements, especially during the Bosnian War. The ICTY is useful to study given its extensive and varied involvement in conflicts that have run their course. There is also an abundance of reliable, longitudinal data for ICTY situations, which is only now becoming available for others. Drawing on a wealth of interview (200 semi-structured interviews) data collected in The Hague and Southeast Europe, the chapter finds that ICTY played a key role in facilitating negotiated settlements. Among other things, the ICTY helped marginalize veto players, as well as provided international and domestic mediators with crucial leverage. However, ICTY officials only facilitated negotiations in these ways when they secured prosecutorial support from liberal states.

Tags: Criminal law
Published Sep. 22, 2017 1:29 PM - Last modified Oct. 13, 2017 2:56 PM