A troubling condition, for some communities or countries, to start their own future is to have their past suffering be recognised either legally, or by historians. Take justice for now. The role, misunderstood by 90% of the media, politicians and lawyers, of international criminal courts just begins to be grasped. A court will never help a country reconstruct itself. It is a mistake to believe that a judge reconstructs and that a popualtion needs a criminal proceeding to forget and forgive. A judge condemns and imprisons. The need for the victims for a criminal proceeding to "start again" and have the suffering "recognised" is a routine discourse of NGOs and lawyers, as a basis for their claim to develop international justice. From the psychological poit of view, no theory can show that avictim is better off after its aggressor has been condemned. In victims surveys, the reason the most reported to press charges is not revenge, but the hope that the crime will not occur again - whatever is carried out to achieve this. I hear arguments that the Nuremberg trials did help the post war societies recompose their future. No: the trillions of dollars of the Marshal funds helped reconstruct, forgive and forget, not the trials. Montesquieu taught us that there are three powers not to be mixed in a democracy, for the sake of liberty. But when there is only one power, namely the "justice" one, what does it mean? It means it has by definition an uncontrolled power. This is the case with all ad hoc international criminal tribunals (former YG, Rwanda), and now the International criminal court. I do not address the aberration of a tribunal having no police force to carry on executive decisions, which is just a symbol of the lack of understanding of criminal jusice by its d proponents. I focus on the fact that no social studies has never shown that a community or a country having been able to make their former enemies condemned by a tribunal have succeeded better in their reconstruction. I would argue that a trial even reorganises the struggle between former enemies around a judicial issue (Bosniak against Serbs, e.g.). Justice, peacebuilding and development are not the same things. As Ms Robinsons, former UNHCHR stated: " A crimnal court is not supposed to bring peace". If even those directly involved reduce their ambitions on the benefits of international tribunals, then the case is nearly closed. International tribunals are condemned to dissapear.
24 mai 2009