- By David BoscoDavid Bosco, a Foreign Policy contributing editor and assistant professor at American University's School of International Service. He is at work on a book about the International Criminal Court's first decade.
Writing in the World Policy Journal, Robbie Corey-Boulet argues that post-conflict prosecutions in Ivory Coast, as pursued domestically and by the International Criminal Court, have a strong whiff of victor’s justice:
Instead of receiving constructive transitional justice, Ivorians have so far received a form of justice that only legitimizes the new Ouattara regime. This raises the question of just what kind of behavior such “victor’s justice” might enable. The ongoing abuses in the west—arbitrary abductions, beatings, and killings—are the early answers. Here, after all, were military forces suspected of involvement in atrocities committed during the post-election violence, and instead of being prosecuted, they have been given free rein to commit new outrages while ostensibly combating threats against the state.
At the moment, former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo is the sole individual being prosecuted by the ICC as part of its investigation of violence in that country. Corey-Boulet believes that will change eventually, but worries that official cooperation may end as soon as the court shifts focus:
Though all indictments and potential indictments at The Hague so far are on Gbagbo’s side, there is little doubt that ICC prosecutors intend to indict Ouattara loyalists eventually. The big question is whether Ouattara’s government will cooperate and foster a process of balanced justice at home so that the courts are seen as even-handed at every level.
Joshua Keating is associate editor at Foreign Policy and the editor of the Passport blog. He has worked as a researcher, editorial assistant, and deputy Web editor since joining the FP staff in 2007. In addition to being featured in Foreign Policy, his writing has been published by the Washington Post, Newsweek International, Radio Prague, the Center for Defense Information, and Romania's Adevarul newspaper. He has appeared as a commentator on CNN International, C-Span, ABC News, Al Jazeera, NPR, BBC radio, and others. A native of Brooklyn, New York, he studied comparative politics at Oberlin College.| The List |
Daniel W. Drezner is professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and a senior editor at The National Interest. Prior to Fletcher, he taught at the University of Chicago and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Drezner has received fellowships from the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the Council on Foreign Relations, and Harvard University. He has previously held positions with Civic Education Project, the RAND Corporation, and the Treasury Department.| Daniel W. Drezner |