The Trauma of Justice: Sexual Violence, Crimes Against Humanity and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Citation:

Campbell, Kirsten. 2004. “The Trauma of Justice: Sexual Violence, Crimes Against Humanity and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.” Social & Legal Studies 13 (3): 329–50.

Author: Kirsten Campbell

Abstract:

This article explores the relationship between the concepts of trauma and justice in the jurisprudence of crimes against humanity of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, focusing upon cases of sexual violence. It argues that the Tribunal’s jurisprudence conceives this crime as a traumatic violation of both the subject of rights and of universal humanity. The Tribunal’s models of international justice as procedure, punishment, recognition and therapy understand justice as the legal suturing of this trauma. In these models, the notion of ‘justice’ functions as phantasy in the psychoanalytic sense of an imaginary scene that veils its impossibility. However, figuring international justice as the resolution of the trauma of crimes against humanity reiterates the traumatic wrong in humanitarian law. Humanitarian law therefore requires a new model of international justice - a model that does not reiterate the past but which can institute the future.

Topics: Health, Trauma, International Law, International Humanitarian Law IHL, Justice, Crimes against Humanity, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Sexual Violence Regions: Europe, Balkans Countries: Yugoslavia (former)

Year: 2004

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