Peace thanks to international criminal justice. How can we do better?

INTERACTIVE DEBATE – Thanks to international courts and tribunals, suspects of serious international crimes can be persecuted. Often it is said that without these persecutions, sustainable peace is not possible. Still, international courts of appeals are the target of much criticism. They are expensive, slow and have little effect on the countries in which the crimes happened.

Should we accept that international criminal justice ultimately contributes little to national peace, or are there possibilities to improve the system? During this HagueTalks, we will hear from three international experts what is needed to make a better connection between international criminal justice and the national context.


Koffi Afande was a judge for, amongst others, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. According to him, the apparent improvement of the status of victims in international criminal justice is deceiving. Therefore, a paradigmatic shift is necessary.

Judge Koffi Kumelio A. Afande was a judge for the Appeals Chamber of the ICTY / ICTR (former). Senior legal advisor of Togo in the United Nations Security Council, and the sixth Committee of the United Nations General Assembly (former). Commissioner for Political, Constitutional and Institutional Reforms of Togo.


Flavia Senoga Anglin is a judge in Uganda. In her talk she discusses the functioning of the International Crimes Division of Uganda. This national court is complementary to the International Criminal Court and can prosecute perpetrators of international crimes. What has brought it to Uganda to persecute war criminals at the national level?

Judge Flavia Senoga Anglin has risen through the ranks from Grade I Magistrate to Judge and was the first woman Chief Registrar. She has written several papers and received the Distinguished Judicial Service Award. Furthermore, she is the Chairperson of National community Service Community.


Barbora Hola is the co-director of the Centre for International Criminal Justice. She talks about the rehabilitation and reintegration of war criminals by international courts and tribunals. International criminal courts and tribunals also aim to rehabilitate their convicts. More than half of those sentenced by the Yugoslavia and Rwanda Tribunals have already been released from prisons. They do not have to acknowledge their responsibility, and can return back to their societies, often as war heroes. Is this the right approach? And is offender rehabilitation an appropriate goal for international criminal justice?

Barbora Hola is a Senior Researcher at the Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement and an Associate Professor at the Department of Criminal Law and Criminology at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. She is a co-director of the Centre for International Criminal Justice, a knowledge centre dedicated to interdisciplinary studies of mass atrocity crimes and international criminal justice (www.cicj.org). In her research, Barbora focuses on transitional justice after atrocities, in particular (international) criminal trials, sentencing of international crimes, rehabilitation and reintegration of war criminals, particularly in Bosnia and Rwanda.

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