* Lecturer in International Politics and Ethnic Conflict, School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy, Queen’s University, Belfast, United Kingdom. I would like to thank two anonymous reviewers for their extremely useful and constructive comments on a first draft of this article. [email@example.com]
This article looks to address a core debate within the transitional justice literature concerning the relationship between peace and justice. The International Criminal Court (ICC) not only features prominently in such debates but is often invoked in support of the contention that justice poses a threat to peace, as particularly highlighted by its intervention in northern Uganda. This article directly engages with such arguments but seeks to portray the ICC neither as an obstacle to nor as an instrument of peace. Rather, it aims to offer a more nuanced, exploratory analysis focused on both the Court’s limitations and possibilities as a tool of justice and peace. Stressing that justice entails far more than simply retribution, and underscoring that the relationship between criminal trials and peace remains empirically under-researched, it contends that the ICC can potentially contribute to peace but only as part of a comprehensive approach to justice that is deeper and thicker than criminal trials alone.