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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Just peace: settling the peace or justice debate
Author:Kuwali, DanISNI
Periodical:Journal of African and international law (ISSN 1821-620X)
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:offences against human rights
international criminal law
transitional justice
war crimes
Abstract:The national judicial systems in postconflict societies, such as in Africa, cannot immediately handle wide-scale prosecutions for mass atrocity crimes in accordance with international standards of due process. This presents advocates of prosecutions with a tough choice as to whether to postpone prosecutions or risk subjecting the subject to a trial that may not be fair. Considering the dysfunctional judicial systems in most postconflict settings, international criminal tribunals have been instituted. In these settings justice may seem to be set aside in the interests of peace. However, it can also be said that without justice there can be no lasting peace. One advantage of criminal prosecution is that it promotes reconciliation. However, sustainable peace and reconciliation cannot exist with impunity. This paper explores emerging trends to overcome the peace and justice dilemma in order to end impunity. The discussion leads to the conclusion that accountability (and not impunity) deters potential perpetrators of serious human rights violations, thereby preventing mass atrocity crimes. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]