Responsibilities to protect and prevent elite crimes are best energized by enforcement that walks through many doors. Effective deterrence is rarely delivered by the International Criminal Court. Yet deterrence is possible when it patiently cumulates through many doors. Likewise truth, justice, and reconciliation can achieve little through one door and much through many. Opening more doors to the complexly cross-cutting character of survivor guilt with mass atrocities can better open possibilities for future prevention and reconciliation than simply doors to courtrooms that find a criminal on one side of complex sequences of atrocity. The Nuremberg and Tokyo War Crimes Trials opened quickly after World War II. They did not prove to hold keys to truth and reconciliation for Germany until the Eichmann trial finished in Jerusalem in 1962. Why? Still today, non-confession by the U.S. to Hiroshima/Nagasaki as war crimes has meant truncated Japanese reconciliation. Different kinds of doors are needed with crimes like the Dresden and Tokyo fire bombing, the rape of Nanjing and the “comfort women” issue. These have included citizens tribunals, truth commissions, and indigenous justice in cases like Bougainville that rejected the truth commission model. When we reflect upon door diversity, transitional justice turns out not to be very focused on justice or international criminal law, and not to be at all transitional, but rather a maze of doors to justice of diverse kinds that open or close across the longue durée (as developed in the work of Susanne Karstedt).1
Many Doors to International Criminal Justice
John Braithwaite is a Distinguished Professor and Founder of the School of Regulation and Global Governance at the Australian National University. He is best known for work on restorative justice and responsive regulation. His PhD was from the University of Queensland. John.Braithwaite@anu.edu.au, +61 (0)437788006, 1 Macpherson St., O’Connor, ACT 2602, Australia.
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John Braithwaite; Many Doors to International Criminal Justice. New Criminal Law Review 1 February 2020; 23 (1): 1–26. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/nclr.2020.23.1.1
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