The International Criminal Court and Africa: Exemplary Justice

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Title The International Criminal Court and Africa: Exemplary Justice
Author Bikundo, Edwin
Journal Name Law and Critique
Year Published 2012
Place of publication Netherlands
Publisher SpringerLink
Abstract This is a theoretical and empirical investigation into the causal link (if any) between international criminal trials and preventing violence through exemplary prosecutions. Specifically how do representative trials of persons accused of having the greatest responsibility for the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole, supposedly bind recurrent violence? The argument pursued is that by using an accused as an example, a court engages in an indirect and uncertain substitution of personal rights for social harmony and order. These prosecutions combine a peculiar rhetoric, logic and aesthetic, all which substitute the responsibilities for a society in general to a particular individual in order to redeem that society by transferring its communal responsibility onto the individual punished as a form of atonement or expiation. International and domestic trials, as well as truth and reconciliation commissions, are part of a suite of options addressing communal mass violence that can work in tandem. However, because those convicted do not have a monopoly on criminality, nor do those merely reconciled have a monopoly on virtue, exemplification through punishment only targets a few on behalf of the many. Indeed such a redemptively sacrificial economy distinguishes legal justice from mere vengeance.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
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Copyright Statement Copyright 2011 Springer Netherlands. This is an electronic version of an article published in Law and Critique, February 2012, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 21-41. Law and Critique is available online at: with the open URL of your article.
Volume 23
Issue Number 1
Page from 21
Page to 41
ISSN 0957-8536
Date Accessioned 2011-12-23
Language en_US
Research Centre Socio-Legal Research Centre
Faculty Arts, Education and Law
Subject Criminal Law and Procedure; Criminology
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1

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