Cornell International Law Journal


Ruti Teitel


International Law, article, Criminal Justice, Political Change, Transitional justice, War crimes


In this article in the Symposium on Milosevic & Hussein on Trial, the author continues a project of tracing the genealogy of "transitional justice" in an analysis of the trials of the two Presidents. The author argues that an intellectual genealogy of "transitional justice" is defined in terms of periods of political change, & the relation of legal development to distinct political phases in world history & various political purposes are contextualized in the history of responses to political conflict. Three historical phases of the genealogy place the trials in Phase III of transitional justice seeking responses associated with post-Cold War global politics. The form of transitional justice in the trials is characterized as an expanded legalism reflecting trends of juridicization & decentralization. Comparative analysis of global transitional justice in the Balkans & Iraq in terms of regime change, the legalist paradigm, expanding international justice, complementarity, & universality contextualize the challenges to normalization of Phase III transitional justice, & the role of spurring normative regime change. The author concludes that the relation of transitional justice to conflict has been altered in the expanded role of the contemporary international law regime. J. Harwell

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