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date: 24 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

After the conclusion of hostilities, whether formal armed conflict or not, parties must be held to account for their behaviour. This sentiment is almost universally shared, regardless of one’s moral or ethical framework, although the specifics of this accounting are deeply controversial and contested. In Section 2 of this brief commentary, the chapter offers a normative foundation for justice after war that appeal to the anti-impunity norm. It concludes that criminal trials, as opposed to nonpenal mechanisms, best vindicate the anti-impunity norm. In light of this conclusion, Section 3 asks how we should achieve justice after war: who should be put on trial (leaders or foot soldiers), who should prosecute them (national or international courts), which crimes they should be charged with (domestic or international crimes), which procedures should govern the trials, and how (and why) they should be punished.

Keywords: international criminal law, impunity, anti-impunity norm, jus post bellum, international criminal procedure, punishment, retributivism

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