Trial Justice

The International Criminal Court and the Lord's Resistance Army

Tim Allen


The International Criminal Court has run into serious problems with its first big case - the situation in northern Uganda. This book argues that much of the antipathy to the ICC is based upon ignorance and misconception and that the ICC has made resolution of the war more likely.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has run into serious problems with its first big case -- the situation in northern Uganda.

There is no doubt that appalling crimes have occurred here. Over a million people have been forced to live in overcrowded displacement camps under the control of the Ugandan army. Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army has abducted thousands, many of them children and has systematically tortured, raped, maimed and killed. Nevertheless, the ICC has confronted outright hostility from a wide range of groups, including traditional leaders, representatives of the Christian Churches and non-governmental organizations. Even the Ugandan government, which invited the court to become involved, has been expressing serious reservations.

Tim Allen assesses the controversy. While recognizing the difficulties involved, he shows that much of the antipathy towards the ICC's intervention is misplaced. He also draws out important wider implications of what has happened. Criminal justice sets limits to compromise and undermines established procedures of negotiation with perpetrators of violence. Events in Uganda have far reaching implications for other war zones - and not only in Africa. Amnesties and peace talks may never be quite the same again.

Author Bio

Dr Tim Allen Is a Reader at the London School of Economics and Programme Director of the post-graduate programme in Development Studies.

Table of Contents

  • 1: Introduction: Ending Impunity
  • International Law and the Most Serious Crimes
  • A Resurgence of International Criminal Trials
  • The Creation of the ICC
  • 2. The Coming of the Lord's Resistance Army
  • Political Upheavals, Spirituality and Guerrilla War
  • Joseph Kony and the LRA
  • War and Counter-Insurgency Strategies
  • 3. Displacement and Abduction
  • Living in IDP Camps
  • Living with the Lord's Resistance Army
  • Some Experiences of Abduction
  • 4. Amnesty, Peace Talks, and Prosecution
  • The Change in Political Context
  • The Amnesty Act
  • Reactions to the ICC in Uganda
  • Legal Aspects of the ICC Intervention
  • 5. Concerns about the Court
  • The ICC is Biased
  • Assessment of the Evidence
  • The ICC Exacerbates the Violence and Endangers Vulnerable Groups
  • Assessment of the Evidence
  • The ICC is Spoiling the Peace Process
  • Assessment of the Evidence
  • 6. Justice and Healing
  • Institutionalization of 'Mato oput'
  • A Diversity of Local Views
  • Chiefs, Churches and Spirits
  • The Evidence on Healing and Justice
  • 7. Conclusion: A Learning Process
  • Notes
  • References
  • Index


' excellent book on the northern Uganda conflict...'

Carlos Rodriguez, Ugandan Observer

'...excellent and very up-to-date book...Tim Allen's book is really valuable. It contains a wealth of background material, and firsthand interview material gathered in northern Uganda, on the issue of the interaction between the ICC and the situation [in Uganda].'

Helena Cobban, 'Just World News'

'For those engaged in efforts to improve the lives of people in the north, this book is an informative read. For those who are engaged in the punditry business, it is an imperative...[Allen] brings out all of the issues and engages in a detailed analysis of the diverse views on justice and reconciliation especially for and among the Acholi people with particular reference to the ICC.'

The Sunday Vision (Uganda)


Publication Date: 1 March 2006
256 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781842777374
eBook ePub: 9781848137936
eBook PDF: 9781848131712
eBook Kindle: 9781780327297
Library Edition: 9781842777367

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