Function and Dysfunction in Post-Conflict Justice Networks and Communities
The field of post-conflict justice includes many well-known international criminal law and rule of law initiatives, from the International Criminal Court to legal reform programs in Afghanistan and Iraq. Less visible, but nonetheless vital to the field, are the international staff (known as internationals) who carry out these transitional justice enterprises, and the networks and communities of practice that connect them to each other. By sharing information, collaborating on joint action, and debating proposed legal rules within their networks and communities, internationals help to develop and implement the core norms and practices of post-conflict justice. These modes of collaboration are particularly important because the field’s fundamental norms and practices are still evolving dramatically. But at times, these networks and communities are dysfunctional. Then, internationals’ ability to engage in robust dialogue and work together is compromised, to the detriment of the effectiveness of their work and the maturation of the field as a whole. In examining these issues, this Article draws on a series of interviews with internationals who have worked in post-conflict justice.
Image Source – Josef Stuefer (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommericial-No Derivatives 2.0 Generic License)