10 January 2017

Jakob v. H. Holtermann on truth and justice in international criminal tribunals

In his new article “One of the Challenges that Can Plausibly Be Raised Against Them?” Holtermann discusses the role of truth in debates about the legitimacy of international criminal tribunals.

International criminal tribunals are often accused of contributing nothing to our understanding of atrocious past events. Instead of delivering truths about genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes the tribunals are claimed to determine only technical questions about legal guilt and punishment. If we want historical truth we should therefore seek other measures like truth and reconciliation commissions, or we should ask historians. In this article Holtermann argues that these claims are overstated. He further argues that we should therefore reconsider the contributions of international criminal tribunals towards improving our understanding of mass atrocities in the past. Holtermann’s article is part of the book The Legitimacy of International Criminal Tribunals (2017) edited by Nobuo Hayashi and Cecilia Bailliet and published on Cambridge University Press.

The article can be found here.