Examining the history of international criminal justice, from Nuremberg to today, with the aid of numerous examples from the Balkans to Libya, touching on Rwanda and Darfur, this book questions the pacifying effect of justice and its limitations. Read More
After armed conflict, must those who committed war crimes, and crimes against humanity, such as genocide, be prosecuted, or integrated into the transition process in the name of peace? Prosecuting them risks a destabilization of society, but doing nothing could lead to the same result, a peace bought by a risky provisional impunity.
The author examines this dilemma in light of the history of international penal law, from Nuremberg to today, and with the aid of numerous examples, from the Balkans to Libya, touching on Rwanda and Darfour. He examines the role of international tribunals: are they a condition of peace (no peace without justice) or instead an obstacle to peace (no justice without peace)? Do they have dissuasive effects? Can one surpass this dilemma?
He also poses the question of the relationship engaging two major actors on the political stage: the Security Council, a political body charged with the maintenance of peace and security, and the international penal court, a judiciary body responsible for prosecuting the authors of the most serious crimes. Is the international penal court really independent from the Security Council, and more importantly, must it be? An essential reflection, at the beginning of this century, facing the return of war.
Jean-Baptiste Jeangène Vilmer, philosopher and Juris Doctor, is a researcher of international law on the law faculty at McGill University (Canada). Author of a dozen works, among them Réparer l'irréparable. Les réparations aux victimes devant la Cour pénale internationale (PUF, 2009) et Turkménistan (CNRS Éditions, 2010), he has taught at the War Studies department at King's College of London.