Shifting accounts of justice: the legalisation and politicisation of international criminal justice

Journal article


Redwood, H. (2021). Shifting accounts of justice: the legalisation and politicisation of international criminal justice. Social & Legal Studies.
AuthorsRedwood, H.
Abstract

In December 2015, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) delivered its final verdict in Butare, bringing the ICTR to a close after 21-years. Despite the important role that the tribunal played in confirming international criminal justice as a key transitional justice mechanism, and tool of international peace and security, there has been little retrospective analysis of the court’s history. This article draws on a Bourdieusian field analysis to address the absence and makes two contributions. First, it demonstrates that over the ICTR’s history the tribunal’s conception of justice shifted from a weak form of restorative justice to a more traditional form of retributive justice. Second, it reveals that this shift was the result of a ‘settling’ on the law and, more importantly, UN Security Council interventions. This legalisation and politicisation of trial practice saw a shift in the field from prioritising moral authority to legal and delegated authority.

Keywords International Criminal Justice; ICTR; Bourdieu; justice; witnesses; practice; United Nations; transitional justice
Year2021
JournalSocial & Legal Studies
PublisherSage
Publication process dates
Accepted07 Oct 2021
Deposited13 Oct 2021
Accepted author manuscript
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Open
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