Workshop Series on Human Rights and Int'l Law

Joel Pruce's picture

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to invite you to participate in the first joint UNL Forsythe Family Program on Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs and Act in Courts virtual workshop of the 2021-2022 academic year!  
This workshop series is intended to give scholars working in the human rights and international law fields an opportunity to present their work and receive feedback from two dedicated discussants as well as a broader audience of scholars, students and stakeholders. All participants are invited to read the paper, which will be circulated in advance.

For our September 2021 workshop, we will be reading "Threats and Commitments: International Tribunals and Domestic Trials in Peace Negotiations" by Genevieve Bates. The abstract is below. MP Broache and Oumar Ba will be the discussants.

The workshop will take place on Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021, from 11:00-12:00 Pacific via Zoom. Please RSVP for the workshop here:
Please forward this email to others for whom this workshop series might be of interest.
We will be circulating the paper shortly.  The Zoom link to join the session is here:
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out. 

Best wishes,
Courtney Hillebrecht
 (on behalf of Lisa Sundstrom, Chris Tenove and both the UNL and Act in Courts teams)


Does the threat of intervention from the International Criminal Court (ICC) affect the agreements parties to a civil conflict make, especially regarding matters of justice and accountability? In this paper, I argue that international criminal tribunals in general – and the ICC in particular – place a unique pressure on domestic elites negotiating peace in the wake of political violence. In order to avoid going to trial in the international arena, elites facing the threat of intervention have an incentive to agree to implement some form of domestic accountability. By agreeing to hold domestic trials, elites signal to the international community that they can handle their own business while also signaling to their opponents how they intend to conduct themselves in peacetime. I test my argument using data on the content of peace agreements negotiated between 2002 and 2019. I measure the threat imposed by international tribunals using disaggregated data on ICC involvement around the world, distinguishing between the threat of intervention and intervention itself. I find that the threat of ICC intervention increases the probability that peace agreements will include commitments to holding trials domestically. This suggests that the ICC may be more effective than previously believed, even in the context of peace processes.