The International Criminal Court and the Transformation of Post-War Justice in Northern Uganda

International Criminal Court, The Hague | Source: Flickr

Miracle Chinwenmeri Uche, Assistant Lecturer and Postgraduate Researcher at the University of Essex, co-authored an article with Tonny Raymond Kirabira (Researcher, Portsmouth Law School) titled ‘The International Criminal Court and the transformation of post-war justice in Northern Uganda’. The article was published in Sentio Journal, Issue 3 (Transformations).

In recent years, the legitimacy of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has attained increased attention across interdisciplinary scholarship. At the same time, the impact of the ICC in Africa remains contested.

To this end, Tonny Raymond Kirabira and Miracle Chinwenmeri Uche examine the interface between the ICC and transitional justice processes in Northern Uganda, following a 20-year war involving the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and the government forces.

The article draws on qualitative work in the fields of international criminal law, human rights, and political science. It finds that the Ugandan situation demonstrates that top-down transitional justice has both positive and negative dimensions.

In their article, the authors argue that while the ICC has helped to transform judicial aspects, it has also contributed towards the decline of traditional justice mechanisms.

As such, they posit that the ICC’s approach to addressing international crimes in situation countries needs to be aligned with the domestic complementary mechanisms, whilst also allowing space for other transitional justice approaches like amnesty and reconciliation.

Tonny Raymond Kirabira and Miracle Chinwenmeri Uche conclude by making a compelling case for the involvement of international criminal tribunals in post-war contexts but also argue that this needs to be done in such a way that promotes good domestic processes and incorporates bottom-up perspectives.

The article can be accessed through the publisher’s website here.

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