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International and Comparative Politics

Is International Criminal Justice “Model” Justice?

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On Thursday, October 17, 2019, a panel discussion on AUP professor Kerstin Carlson’s 2018 book Model(ing) Justice: Perfecting the Promise of International Criminal Law took place in the Combes Student Life Center. The event, which was hosted by the George and Irina Schaeffer Center for the Study of Genocide, Human Rights and Conflict Prevention, centered on Professor Carlson’s argument that structural flaws in international criminal tribunals (ICTs) hinder their ultimate goal of peace and prosperity. In her book, she uses the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) as a case study because it was the first of the UN’s criminal tribunals to come under international scrutiny due to criticism around its proceedings. The talk drew an audience of students, professors and members of the AUP community, including several alumni.

Professor Susan Perry, Program Director for AUP’s MA in International Affairs, introduced Professor Carlson along with additional guest speakers: Dr. Sara Dezalay, Senior Lecturer in International Relations at Cardiff University; Omer Shatz, a lecturer in International Law at Sciences Po; and Professor Sharon Weill from AUP’s Department of International and Comparative Politics. There was broad agreement with Professor Carlson’s position on the ICTs. The speakers discussed the main issues of transnational justice for postconflict states, covering progressive law, the historical record and reconciliatory narratives. It was agreed that, particularly in an era of rapid globalization, the errors of the past, though regrettable, constructed lessons for the future of international justice. Such errors need to be studied further before modifying the structure of the ICTs. Professor Carlson’s book is a much needed, eye-opening piece of research in today’s globalized world.

Written by Isabelle Wheeler. Isabelle is studying for an MA in Global Communications at AUP. She is an avid traveler who has lived and worked in Argentina, Scotland, Senegal and Paris.