In this presentation, John Cubbon considers the types of effects of international interventions in criminal justice related to armed conflict. John identifies these types of effects by comparing them with those of “ordinary” criminal justice. While this comparative approach identifies some similarities, it also highlights the distinctive effects of international interventions. John concludes with some optimistic reflections on the impact of international criminal justice, including preventing crimes related to armed conflicts, as well as contributing to the promotion of peace and reconciliation. John discusses how these positive effects can often be overlooked as they tend to be longer-term and less tangible, as opposed to attractive short term goals such as identifying potential peacemakers or introducing amnesties in an effort to usher in peace. There also tends to be a focus on instances where international criminal justice has not prevented atrocities or has been rejected by affected populations, rather than the longer-term and less tangible effects of preventing large-scale war crimes or crimes against humanity as well as broader contribution to promoting peace and reconciliation. John also identifies factors – fairness, objectivity and publicity – that will harness the opportunities that are contained within international criminal justice.
John Cubbon has worked in the United Nations as a lawyer since 1995, since 2006 as Senior Legal Officer in Chambers at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). Between 1998 and 2006 he played leading roles in the assessment, operation and development of the judicial system and its institutions in Kosovo, among other activities. His areas of expertise are the monitoring and establishment of judicial systems, reform of legislation and the role of transitional justice in post-conflict environments.