The Role of International Actors in National Accountability Processes
The response of an incoming government to past crimes and gross violations of human rights depends primarily on a combination of domestic political, military and socioeconomic factors. However, international influences and institutions play an increasing role in shaping and affecting these processes. International efforts are in turn shaped partly by the perceived success or failure of domestic attempts to deal with the past. This chapter focuses on three areas in which these mutual influences manifest themselves: first, it examines the impact of international and transnational activity on the work of national courts, truth commissions, reparation schemes and political discourses about the past; second, it looks at the possibility of simultaneous actions in multiple arenas, since transnational justice also takes the form of legal actions brought in the national courts of one country against civil or criminal defendants based in another; the third area of influence discussed is the creation of new international institutions for accountability, although the extent to which these international efforts have influenced political or social reconstruction within societies is still unclear. The different sections of the chapter are: Introduction; Human Rights Institutions and Norms; Transnational Justice: The Pinochet Precedent; International Justice: The ‘Ad Hoc’ Tribunals and the ICC (International Criminal Court); and Conclusion.
Keywords: accountability, democratization, human rights institutions, human rights, international actors, International Criminal Court, international influences, international institutions, international justice, national courts, Pinochet, political reconstruction, reparation, social reconstruction, transnational justice, tribunals, truth commissions, violations of human rights
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