After Atrocities: Processes of Post-Conflict Justice

B540 is taught by Istrabadi

Once tyrannical regimes fall, there is often an impetus for holding previous leaderships to account for atrocities they committed against their own populations to perpetuate themselves in office. One form or another of the models of post-conflict justice has been used throughout the world in the modern era, including, for instance, in Cambodia, Egypt, Nigeria, the Sudan, and throughout Central and South America. Since the watershed moments in the mid-1990s that resulted in the creation of the International Criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda in the 1990s, a vast scholarly corpus has developed assessing the efficacy and desirability of these various models of such justice mechanisms. Other models have emerged, such as the International Criminal Court, hybrid (international-national) courts, and purely national courts. Some countries have experimented with different models of non-judicial accountability, ranging from the South African model to outright impunity, and some countries began with one model reverted to another (e.g., Chile). The purpose of this course is to allow the student to weigh the relative theoretical merits of each of these systems versus the actual experiences of each as reflected in scholarly critiques. The course will conclude by considering the specific example of the Iraqi Supreme Criminal Tribunal that tried the leadership displaced after the 2003 war, as a case study of a national model but one which sought to vindicate principles of international criminal law. There are no pre-requisites. Graduate students from outside the Law School are welcome.