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Setting the scene: The use of art to promote reconciliation in international criminal justice

Date: 18/02/2020

Author(s): Marina Aksenova

Format: Research Article

Area(s): Global, Comparative and European Law, Law, Politics and Economics

Publication: Read the article



This article maps out the landscape holding and connecting three interrelated phenomena: art, international criminal justice, and reconciliation. We argue that reconciliation, viewed as a restoration process, is one of the goals of international criminal justice. Yet, its attainment through law is challenging because international criminal justice, strictly construed, is outcome oriented. Art can serve as a ‘bridge’ linking normative legal standards with their reconciliatory aspirations. The key argument is therefore that art has the clear ability to mediate and amplify the law’s restorative potential through three key features. Firstly, art reflects the complexity of the human condition and reserves a place for emotional processing. Secondly, it is a useful relational tool in opening the space for dialogue, the latter being essential for reconciliation. Lastly, art has the capacity to translate legalistic findings into a language accessible to a wider audience.


Citation: Published by: Leiden Journal of International Law