Memory, Justice and the Court: On the Dimensions of Memory-Justice under the Rome Statute


This article explores the possibility of locating an ‘ethics of memory’ respecting commission of mass atrocities via the link between justice, truth and memory. First, it suggests a typology for memory in relation to justice in its retributive and restorative aspects. Second, it explores how so-called ‘memory-justice’ arises in the course of international proceedings—and particularly given its significance under the Rome Statute—by considering, critically, the international community's ability to repair or restitute injury by engaging in memory in ‘the right way’. Lastly, it suggests limitations of memory-justice of which only some can be overcome. The challenges and arguments for a ‘categorical imperative’ for memory are left for a subsequent treatment, but arguments in law and practical ethics will be suggested in favour of properly approaching memory in pursuit of justice, with profound consequences for the nascent Court and sister tribunals, in their efforts to break the cycle of conflict in affected regions, and rid the world of the worst crimes known to humanity.

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Edward Kanterian
University of Kent

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