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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The ICC, Uganda and the LRA: re-framing the debate
Author:Clark, Janine NatalyaISNI
Periodical:African Studies (ISSN 1469-2872)
Geographic term:Uganda
Subjects:International Criminal Court
administration of justice
Lord's Resistance Army
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/00020181003647256
Abstract:In July 2005, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) formally began an investigation into crimes committed by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in northern Uganda. The following year, he issued arrest warrants for five LRA commanders. The involvement of the ICC, however, has met with strong criticism from both inside and outside Uganda. Firstly, some commentators insist that peace must come before justice and that the ICC's arrest warrants undermine prospects for peace in Uganda. Secondly, there are those who maintain that the ICC's involvement rides roughshod over traditional, indigenous forms of justice. By exploring each of these claims in detail, this article seeks to answer the fundamental question of whether or not the ICC should withdraw its arrest warrants against the LRA. Its principal argument is that debates regarding the ICC and Uganda are typically based upon false dichotomies - between peace and justice and between international justice and traditional justice - that must be transcended. Peace and justice are not mutually exclusive but rather mutually reinforcing. They complement each other. Hence, the key question is not if peace should come before justice, but rather what form the administration of justice should take. The article further contends that rather than choosing between international (retributive) justice and traditional (restorative) justice, the emphasis should be on a holistic, blended approach that combines the two. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]