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Towards positive peace: a critical rearticulation of the role of victims in International criminal justice

Crutchley, J. (2020). Towards positive peace: a critical rearticulation of the role of victims in International criminal justice. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)


This thesis examines the role of victims in international criminal law and details how ensuring they receive justice is an important element that needs to be fulfilled to achieve positive peace. As the preamble to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court details, international crimes have a devastating effect on millions of victims and threaten international peace and security. However, currently the practice of the international criminal justice system has been criticised as not achieving justice for many victims. Further, its influence on peace, if any, takes on a form of negative peace. The search for justice for victims is claimed to be a central mandate of the International Criminal Court. In contrast, as this thesis details, an abstraction of victimhood occurs through both the concept of victims and the practice of the court - meaning that individual victims do not have a voice and cannot influence the forms of justice they receive. Alongside this, many victims are not recognised and are not provided an opportunity to seek justice. The thesis critically deconstructs the concepts of peace, justice and victims in international criminal justice to reveal their polemic nature and historical interplay. This highlights how in the justice system, including hybrid courts, victims are on the periphery, with limited influence. Additionally, the narrow focus on negative peace - concerned only with the absence of armed violence - excludes issues of social and cultural justice along with the root causes of conflict and international crimes.

To move towards positive peace this thesis presents a victim centric rearticulation of international criminal justice, incorporating understandings from the underside: including transmodern and grass roots lessons, to provide a wider range of justice opportunities and grant greater agency for victims. This offers an option to strengthen the recognition by victims that ‘justice has been done’, aiming to enhance the

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: K Law
Departments: Doctoral Theses
The City Law School > The City Law School Doctoral Theses
The City Law School
[thumbnail of Thesis Julie Crutchley.pdf]
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