International Criminal Justice and Jus Post Bellum: The Challenge of ICC Complementarity: A Case-Study of the Situation in Uganda

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Abstract

In 2004, the Government of Uganda referred the situation in northern
Uganda — where the Government was embroiled in an armed conflict with the
rebels of the Lord’s Resistance Army — to the International Criminal Court.
Lately, the Government has embarked on a transitional justice process to deal
with the effects of the conflict internally. This raises the question whether the
ICC should defer to the Government’s efforts on the basis of the complementarity principle, notably with respect to its arrest warrants against the LRA commanders.
In this contribution, it is argued that the Court’s admissibility determination
should be informed by grassroots perceptions regarding appropriate
transitional justice approaches towards reconciliation. The Court may want to
critically engage with preconceived Western notions of accountability and retribution in post bellum situations, and possibly countenance ‘alternative’ or
somewhat more ‘lenient’ sentencing of LRA leaders in the interest of peace and
reconciliation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-121
Number of pages31
JournalBelgian Review of International Law
Volume44
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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