Geographies of Crime and Justice: Contemporary Transitional Justice and the Creation of 'Zones of Impunity'

  • Sriram C
  • Ross A
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Abstract

This article explores some of the challenges that transnational crimes pose to the operation of transnational justice. By transnational crimes, we mean serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law that transcend national borders and are perpetrated by state or non-state actors. Many national and international legal mechanisms may only address a segment of these crimes, creating what we refer to as zones of impunity.' This article examines how these dilemmas are unfolding in three African contexts: the possibility that Charles Taylor is tried for crimes in Sierra Leone but not in Liberia; that only Congolese, and not Rwandans or Ugandans, face prosecution for crimes in Ituri or elsewhere in the Democratic Republic of Congo; or that Joseph Kony escapes prosecution in Uganda through being allowed amnesty or exile in Sudan. Our analytic framework considers how geography and politics affect legal responses to transnational crimes.

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Authors

  • C. L. Sriram

  • A. Ross

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