Department of Politics and International Studies & Centre on Conflict, Rights and Justice

Reframing Justice after Atrocity

Professor Phil Clark leads a project on ‘Renewing Positive Complementarity: Reframing Justice Relations after Atrocity’, with co-investigators Dan Plesch (SOAS), Cath Collins (Ulster), Nicola Palmer (King’s College London) and Leah Owen (Swansea), funded by the Leverhulme Trust for 3-years. Research into post-atrocity justice often assumes a constructive relationship between international institutions such as the International Criminal Court and domestic courts.

Through the concept of "positive complementarity", many commentators argue that international institutions play a vital top-down role in building domestic capacity. This, however, overlooks more complex interplays, including racial dimensions, that affect international law’s ability to strengthen or to hinder domestic systems.

Through historical and modern case studies in Latin America, Europe and Africa and the new conceptual framework of “arenas of accountability”, this project examines justice interactions that go beyond the linear international-to-national transmission of norms and practices.