The Peace-Justice Nexus project aims to contribute to ongoing debates on the effects of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on conflict and peace processes using qualitative, quantitative and normative methods. It will assess the impact of the ICC on the behavior and policies of governmental and non-state actors.

The “peace versus justice” debate is an important controversy in the application of international criminal law, conflict resolution, and conflict prevention. There is a possible tension between “peace” and “justice” because prosecuting individuals who violate international criminal law could create perverse incentives that could encourage them or others to continue or resume war or human rights violations. Thus, this debate has many practical implications, in particular with respect to decisions about when to pursue prosecutions for international crimes.

The main research question concerns: How has the ICC impacted the domestic protection of human rights, domestic politics and perceptions of justice? The project encompasses desk and field research into  selected case studies of situations/preliminary investigations before the Court. Kenya is our first case study country. The field research will involve interviews with key informants,  civil society consultations and household surveys. In addition, a large-N empirical study will be conducted on the impacts of the ICC in the countries that have ratified the Rome Statute.

We aim to produce policy recommendations on conflict-sensitive approaches and transitional justice strategies to achieve, when possible, both sustainable peace and accountability for gross human rights violations.