Transitional justice and the legacy of nuremberg: The promise and problems of confronting atrocity in post-conflict societies

Parwez Besmel, Alex Alvarez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

It's been over 70 years since the Nuremberg trials helped establish the primacy of legal mechanisms to deal with international human rights abuses, especially for genocide. Since then, we have seen a proliferation of courts and tribunals focused on bringing to justice perpetrators of genocide. In this paper, we critically examine the ways in which Nuremberg shaped and influenced these responses to genocide and to our understanding of the nature of justice in post-conflict societies. In an era when genocides and mass atrocity crimes continue to occur, it is important to understand the benefits and limitations of legal strategies for post-conflict societies and how they influence other transitional justice mechanisms. We bring to light the clear tension between the different goals of international criminal justice, namely punishment, prevention, and peace, and show that increased reliance on punishment does not necessarily brings about peace. To sustain peace and stability in post-conflict era, countries have also turned to truth and reconciliation commission, lustration, and reparation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)182-196
Number of pages15
JournalGenocide Studies International
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2018

Keywords

  • Deterrence
  • International Criminal Justice
  • Lustration
  • Nuremberg Trials
  • Reparations
  • Transitional Justice
  • Truth and Reconciliation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Law

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