Scholarship on tribunals for mass human rights violations overlooks how the presence or absence of conflict influences its effectiveness. I argue that implementing a tribunal during conflict undermines its ability to effectively pursue justice—as I demonstrate with a case study of the Yugoslav Tribunal. Ongoing conflict makes challenges of transitional justice more acute. The absence of conflict eases a tribunal’s ability to carry out certain necessary activities such as collecting evidence. I demonstrate this using a case study of the Rwanda Tribunal. Examining tribunals in Sierra Leone and Cambodia suggests that hybrid structures influence the effectiveness of these accountability mechanisms.
Whaley, Zoe B., "Timing Justice: Lessons from the Tribunals in Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Cambodia" (2009). Political Science Honors Projects. 22.
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