IR Week 8
Densification of international law and an increase of the contractual relationship between states. Today, no political life is never not part of a
treaty, a contract. Most dense institutional setting is EU- some rules have authority over the sovereign right of a nation. Specificity of EU-
members have decided to negotiate sovereignty. But the sources of international law were focussed on avoiding unnecessary conflict.
Question of justice- transition- issues of justice associated with post-conflict societies. Issues linked to legal responses- past dicator or
regime- notion is very recent.Acknowledge that for a lasting peace you need to tackle notion of justice.Among nations, the idea of justice
was present after the war when the victor imposed some condition to the loser. Very specific notion of justice. Versailles- ended up with a
bizarre notion of justice; define who was killing- Germany is guilty. Which is to say that it was a very subjective notion of the facts; but this
was the narrative of the time. Germany lost territories- that was the justice negotiated, not a triumph. In a civil war, once you manage to put
the combatant on a ceasefire, at some point the question of justice will arise- what to do with crimes of war? What to do with crimes of
dictators? These notions of transnational justice were deemed to be part of building peace after war. Mix of measure to put a civil conflict
behind. All measures part of a reconciliation- building a new future.
Whatever you choose in transnational justice mechanisms, they are full of dilemmas-
• You may want to punish offenders, but in doing do you may affect the social fabric. May be tempted to do nothing- impunity,
build something new and not address the crimes of the past. Institutions remain strong. Spain after Franco. Let’s not address the
past now- open the civil war, society is too divided and weak.
• Some sort of truth commission- truth-telling endeavour. Make the past known. Indispensable step toward reconciliation. May just
represent a partial view or a specific group/agenda. Result- judicial action may lead to more frustration. What’s the point in
justice if we don’t have truth. Without retribution, this is meaningless. Resolution and retribution usually both at work. Supposed
to help victims to heal and society to reconstruct itself. Promotion of accountability. Start the process of building a post war
society. Truth has many, many faces. One of them is forensic- all the work done to come up with a figure about the atrocities.
Condition on which justice can be done. Crucial for justice- evidence, no judgement. Make truth available to everyone. Demands
a huge effort.Also a narrative- allows a victim to say what happened. Subjective narratives, work of inquiry to make sure that
they are concurrent. Society may feel the need to settle on a compromise; a myth- Germany after WW2.
• Dilemma of socio-economic justice- reparations may in fact strengthen the dividing lines. Trying to create strategies for