What Role for Development in the Pursuit of Justice?


The notion that development, security, and transitional justice are inextricably linked is becoming widely accepted among experts and practitioners working to understand and address conflict. Still, the field is only beginning to translate this understanding into clear policy frameworks.

In the latest ICTJ podcast in the series on complementarity, Heidy Rombouts, Kenya project leader with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) points to the World Bank’s 2011 World Development Report for thorough analysis and evidence to support this assumption.

Last year’s report, titled “Conflict, Security, and Development,” examines in detail how countries mired in conflict can strengthen security, justice, and development prospects to break enduring cycles of violence and instability.

"A key lesson of successful conflict prevention is that security, justice, and economic stresses are linked: approaches that try to solve them through military-only, justice-only, or development-only solutions will falter," states the 2011 report, an annual publication analyzing global trends in conflict prevention.

“A specific example is the report very clearly underscores that processes for change and of justice take a long time—I think it was on average 37 years,” Rombouts explains. “And this has an impact on how to work on these issues.”

Adding a development organization’s perspective to the discussion on complementarity, Rombouts elaborates on challenges to building the capacity of national courts to cope with trials for international crimes. When faced with a lack of political will to address past crimes, the challenge often becomes one of finding points of entry, be they people or existing judicial mechanisms.

“Appropriate criminal prosecutions will require the involvement of different actors,” she points out. “So it’s not only a matter of having the technical capacity within each agency or actor, but also making them work together.”

Listen to the podcast

[Download](/sites/default/files/Rombouts_ICTJ_Podcast_03052012.mp3) | Duration: 11:42mins | File size: 6.69MB

In the concluding podcast in the series on complementarity Phakiso Mochochoko, senior legal advisor at the International Criminal Court, explains the role of the ICC in promoting accountability for serious crimes in national court systems.

A woman votes in Juba, South Sudan, April 2010. UN Photo/Tim McKulka. www.unmultimedia.org/photo