Justice in Conflict
Book review by postdoctoral fellow Joanna Nicholson in the Nordic Journal of Human Rights Vol. 35(1).
Abstract of the book reviewed:
It is an increasingly expected that when atrocities are perpetrated and wars erupt, international criminal justice must soon follow. But what happens when the international community simultaneously pursues peace and justice in response to ongoing wars? What are the effects of interventions by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on the conflicts in which it intervenes? This book offers an in-depth examination of the effects of interventions by the ICC on peace, justice and conflict processes. The ‘peace versus justice’ debate, wherein it is argued that the ICC has either positive or negative effects on ‘peace’, has spawned in response to the Court’s propensity to intervene in ongoing conflicts. This book is a response to and a critical engagement with this debate. Building on theoretical and analytical insights from the fields of conflict and peace studies, conflict resolution, and negotiation theory, it develops a novel analytical framework to study the Court’s effects on peace, justice and conflict processes. This framework is applied to two specific cases: the ICC’s interventions in Libya and in northern Uganda. Drawing on extensive fieldwork, the core of the book examines the empirical effects of the ICC on each case. The book examines why the ICC has the effects that it does, delineating the relationship between the interests of states that refer situations to the Court and the ICC’s institutional interests, arguing that the negotiation of these interests determines which side of a conflict the ICC targets and thus its effects on peace, justice and conflict processes.