February 3, 2010
The AALS Poster Project: Gregory S. Gordon's Complementarity and Alternative Justice
The poster begins at the top by presenting the issue: whether a country asking for deferral of a prosecution by the International Criminal Court (ICC) can satisfy the ICC's complementarity standard when the country seeks to replace the ICC prosecution with use of "alternative justice mechanisms" (AJM), such as truth commissions, customary local procedures, lustration, reparations or amnesties. It will then set out the relevant rule -- Article 17 of the ICC's Rome Statute, pursuant to which complementarity awards primacy of jurisdiction to a state's domestic courts unless the ICC determines the state "unwilling or unable genuinely to prosecute." The poster then points out that, unfortunately, the statutory language and materials interpreting Article 17 provide only general suggestions for how the ICC could determine whether alternative mechanisms render a case inadmissible under the complementarity regime. The poster then offers a solution -- using a set of five analytic criteria to formulate an admissibility test in such cases: (1) circumstances surrounding the ICC referral and request for deferral; (2) state of affairs in the domestic jurisdiction seeking the deferral; (3) the AJM itself; (4) crimes at issue; and (5) the prosecution target. This text is framed on either side by photographs showing a scene of alternative justice (a customary local procedure in Africa called gacaca) and modern international criminal justice (a court proceeding at the ICC). An arrow protrudes from each photograph and points toward the center of the poster -- a box with text containing the solution to the problem. The box is framed on either side by a customary justice logo (from Rwanda)and the logo of the ICC.
I wanted to do this in poster form because I thought it would be a compelling argument from a visual perspective. The poster creation process also helped me distill the paper more effectively for an oral presentation I did on it at the AALS conference. It will also be helpful for a presentation I will be doing on the paper at the University of Kansas School of Law in February.
February 3, 2010 | Permalink
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