Defining Justice during Transition? International and Domestic Contestations over the Special Tribunal for Lebanon

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Abstract

This article explores the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) as a site of contestation and consolidation for the fields of international criminal justice (ICJ) and transitional justice (TJ). Created in response to the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri in 2005, the STL exhibits the particularly confined notions of ‘justice’ that are at play across the ICJ field. An examination of domestic Lebanese debates surrounding the Tribunal reveals, however, that ‘justice’ in the Lebanese case possesses many meanings. Rather than accept the false binary of the international over the domestic and the trial over broad-based social dialogue, this analysis of the STL reveals ways in which meanings of justice remain open to contestation both on the ground and in ICJ and TJ. The article illustrates this by examining the international–domestic law binary at play in the STL’s establishment and the way local Lebanese actors have challenged it in the country’s ongoing struggle for postconflict political stability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-517
JournalInternational Journal of Transitional Justice
Volume7
Issue number3
Early online date31 Jul 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • international criminal justice
  • Special Tribunal for Lebanon
  • Rafiz Hariri
  • insternationalisation
  • sovereignty

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