Author: Jaya Ramji-Nogales

Alter Hall Flags

Bespoke Transitional Justice at the International Criminal Court

This chapter grapples with the question of whether the International Criminal Court should be conceptualized as a mechanism of transitional justice. Most schools of thought insist that transitional justice is either an inappropriate or an unrealistic goal for the Court. Some scholars have proposed that the Court might more accurately be theorized as seeking to achieve political goals through “juridified diplomacy”. Others suggest that the Court should speak primarily to a global, rather than local, audience. A third school of thought criticizes international criminal law as insufficiently focused on the preferences of societies affected by mass violence. Going one step further, some theorists suggest that the Court should be set aside in favor of mechanisms that are more responsive to local preferences. Though the incorporation of the International Criminal Court into a “locally owned” transitional justice paradigm faces substantial challenges, this chapter draws on a theory of bespoke transitional justice to suggest ways in which this knotty relationship might be better designed. Download the Paper at SSRN

Refugees at Train Station

History, Hysteria, and Syrian Refugees

A week after the ISIS terrorist attacks in Paris, American political hysteria is on full display. On Thursday, the House voted to tighten screening procedures on Syrian refugees; never mind that the extraordinarily rigorous background checks already in place make it more difficult to come to the United States as a refugee than through any other immigration status. This is legislation unmoored not only from facts but also from the lessons of history. The Facts The “American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act of 2015” adds layers of unnecessary bureaucracy onto the existing security checks applied to all refugees entering the United States. Applicable only to Iraqi and Syrian nationals or residents who left after March 1, 2011, the bill requires that the FBI Director certify to the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence that such refugees have undergone sufficient background investigation to determine that they are not a security threat to the US. If both Directors are in agreement, the DHS Secretary must certify this finding to 12 congressional committees before …