Is Local ICC Justice Necessarily Better than ICC justice?

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Justice in Conflict

Dominic Ongwen arrives for a hearing in his trial at the ICC (Photo: Reuters) Dominic Ongwen arrives for a hearing in his trial at the ICC (Photo: Reuters)

A few weeks ago, the International Criminal Court (ICC) came nail-bitingly close to finally holding proceedings in an affected community rather than in The Hague. Ultimately, the ICC’s president decided that the risks of holding part of the trial of Bosco Ntaganda in Bunia in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) outweighed the benefits of serving some ICC justice locally. The debate over whether to hold hearings in Bunia raises broader questions: should the ICC be a traveling court? Should its judges, prosecutors, and defence lawyers present their cases in the very same contexts and in the same communities where the alleged perpetrators committed their crimes? Beyond issues of security, what are the potential costs of doing so?

The International-Domestic Tension and Dream

In the world of international justice and human rights, it is almost universally…

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