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Leaving Legacies Open-Ended: An Invitation for an Inclusive Debate on International Criminal Justice

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Eyal Benvenisti
University of Cambridge,Fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge
Sarah M.H. Nouwen
University of Cambridge and Fellow of Pembroke College, Cambridge
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As a response to the Symposium on the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda published by the American Journal of International Law on the occasion of the tribunals’ closure, this AJIL Unbound Symposium intends to broaden the debate on the “legacies” of those courts. The AJIL Symposium contains articles on the creation of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR); the ad hoc tribunals’ jurisprudential contributions; and their extra-legal impacts and legacies. The concept of “legacy” is itself contested and the appropriateness of the courts’ own efforts to consolidate it may be questioned, especially as they have barely ended (or are about to end) their work. Nevertheless, their over two decades of existence does provide an occasion to assess all they have done and not done, and have affected, intentionally and unintentionally. Against that background, we have invited a group of scholars to respond to the AJIL Symposium and to reflect upon the work of the tribunals with a view to enriching the debate with more voices, from different regions, from different interest groups, and from different disciplines.

Symposium on the International Criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda: Broadening the Debate
Copyright © American Society of International Law 2016


1 Michael J. Matheson & David Scheffer, The Creation of the Tribunals, 110 AJIL 173(2016).

2 Darryl Robinson & Gillian MacNeil, The Tribunals and the Renaissance of International Criminal Law: Three Themes, 110 AJIL 191 (2016).

3 Marko Milanović, The Impact of the ICTY on the Former Yugoslavia: An Anticipatory Postmortem, 110 AJIL 233, 235 (2016) on the ICTY; Sara Kendall & Sarah M. H. Nouwen, Speaking of Legacy: Toward an Ethos of Modesty at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, 110 AJIL 212 (2016) on the ICTR.

4 The Controversial Actions of the ICC Prosecutor: a Crisis of Maturity?, The Hague Justice Portal (Sept. 15, 2008).

5 Is the ICC in crisis?, BBC News Hour (Dec. 13, 2014).

6 International Criminal Court in crisis, Eurotopics.

7 Statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (Nov.16,2016).

8 Sara Kendall, Critical Orientations: A Critique of International Criminal Court Practice, inCritical Approaches to International Criminal Law 54, 58-59 (Christine Schwöbel ed., 2014).

9 Wendy Brown, Introduction, inIs Critique Secular? Blasphemy, Injury, and Free Speech 7, 9(2009).

10 See David L. Bosco, Rough Justice: The International Criminal Court in a World of Power Politics (2014).

11 Frédéric Mégret, What Sort of Global Justice Is ‘International Criminal Justice’?, 13 J. Int’l Crim. Just. 77 (2015).

12 Larissa van den Herik, International Criminal Law as a Spotlight and Black Holes as Constituents of Legacy, 110 AJIL Unbound 209 (2016).

13 Id. at 209, 212.

14 Kelly-Jo Bluen, Globalizing Justice, Homogenizing Sexual Violence: The Legacy of the ICTY and ICTR in Terms of Sexual Violence, 110 AJIL Unbound 214 (2016).

15 Karen Engle, Feminist Legacies, 110 AJIL Unbound 220 (2016).

16 Kirsten Campbell, Gender Justice Beyond the Tribunals: From Criminal Accountability to Transformative Justice, 110 AJIL Unbound 227 (2016).

17 Kenneth A. Rodman, How Politics Shapes the Contributions of Justice: Lessons from the ICTY and the ICTR, 110 AJIL Unbound 234 (2016).

18 Veronika Bílková, Divided We Stand? The Ad Hoc Tribunals and the CEE Region, 110 AJIL Unbound 240 (2016); Bing Bing Jia, The Legacy of the ICTY and ICTR in China, 110 AJIL Unbound 245 (2016).

19 David Luban, Demystifying Political Violence: Some Bequests of ICTY and ICTR, 110 AJIL Unbound 251 (2016).

20 Samuel Moyn, On a Self-Deconstructing Symposium, 110 AJIL Unbound 258, 258 (2016).

21 262.

22 On this faith, see David S. Koller, The Faith of the International Criminal Lawyer, 40 N.Y.U. J. INT’L L. & POL. 1019 (2008).

23 Darryl Robinson, Take the Long View of International Justice, EJIL:Talk!(Oct. 24, 2016).

24 See Sarah M. H.Nouwen, Legal Equality on Trial: Sovereigns and Individuals before the International Criminal Court, 43 Neth. Y.B. Int’l L.151 (2012).