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How Can Impoverished Countries with Weak Formal Legal Systems Deal with a Past of Mass Human Rights Atrocities - Essay Example

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Introduction Injustice manifests itself in various forms, but the most poignant cases in the recent past have been witnessed in impoverished countries, particularly in Africa. Injustice in such countries is demonstrated in different forms which include violation of human rights, “procedural and distributive injustice” among others (Schabas, 2003: p1038)…
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How Can Impoverished Countries with Weak Formal Legal Systems Deal with a Past of Mass Human Rights Atrocities
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Download file to see previous pages However, the prevailing economic, legal and political frameworks in these countries are major impediments to achievement of justice especially on human rights atrocities. This paper explores ways in which impoverished countries can deal with past injustices, with particular focus on human rights atrocities. In attempts to deal with the past human right atrocities, the impoverished countries have undertaken a rather unusual approach of forgiveness instead of punishing the perpetrators. Other countries forgive many of the alleged perpetrators and imposing punishment on few individuals considered most culpable of the atrocities. This form of addressing past injustices of human rights atrocities referred as “restorative justice” has become the most popular mechanism for the last four decades especially in developing countries. Several countries including Sierra Leone, South Africa, Rwanda, Ghana and Central African Republic in Africa have embarked and concluded restorative justice to address the past atrocities. Other notable countries in Africa include Nigeria, Morocco (Lyn and Kimberly 2004:2). Similarly restorative justice process has been undertaken in developed countries such as Northern Ireland. Establishment of truth and reconciliation commissions is the most commonly applied method of dealing with the past injustices in Africa. ...
These include international humanitarian law, international tribunals, non governmental organizations and foreign military intervention to overthrow the regime responsible for mass killings (Benomar, 1993). According to Beckman and Butte(2008: p2), “international law comprises of principles and rules that are universally applied in dealing with the conduct of states and of international organizations in their relations with one another and with private individuals, global companies and minority groups.” The International Criminal Court a permanent international tribunal is one of the universal judicial organs established under the international law to arbitrate on the most serious crimes against humanity. These crimes include genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and aggression (Beckman and Butte, 2008: p3). Most impoverished countries are normally in transition to democratic governance and emerging from conflicts, which cause widespread violations of human rights. The International Criminal Court through many subsidiary global committees on human rights examines all these crimes and determines which falls within its jurisdiction. The perpetrators who bear the greatest responsibility for crimes against humanity are charged in the International Criminal Court (Gary, 2000). Currently, several prominent persons in several sub-Saharan Africa accused of crimes against humanity are facing charges in the international court. Some of the countries in which the international court is arbitrating include Sudan, where the current president is wanted for committing crimes against humanity in Darfur, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya for the post election violence in 2008. In addition, individuals accused of committing transitional ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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