Procedural Justice In Transnational Contexts

By Stephen Cody & Alexa Koenig

Procedural justice scholarship shows that perceptions of judicial fairness can strongly influence a court participant’s satisfaction with judicial outcomes, as well as the perceived legitimacy of the dispute resolution forum. What is largely unknown, however, is how procedural justice plays out in transnational contexts. Most previous studies focus on adjudication in domestic forums. Here, drawing on 622 semi-structured interviews with victims in cases before the International Criminal Court (“ICC”), we document how four core procedural justice principles–voice, neutrality, trust and respect–are interpreted differently in transnational rather than in national contexts. We also identify additional factors–including participants’ concerns over physical safety and lengthy judicial processes– that condition participants’ subjective evaluations of procedural fairness. These empirical findings force us to rethink the meaning of core principles of procedural justice in transnational settings and shed light on the subjective experiences of victim participants in international criminal proceedings.

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