Res Publica

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 209–225

The End of ‘the end of impunity’? The International Criminal Court and the Challenge from Truth Commissions



With its express intention ‘to put an end to impunity’, the International Criminal Court (ICC) faces a substantial challenge in the shape of conditional amnesties granted in future national truth commissions (TCs)—a challenge that invokes fundamental considerations of criminal justice ethics. In this article, I give an account of the challenge, and I consider a possible solution to it presented by Declan Roche. According to this solution the ICC-prosecutor should respect national amnesties and prosecute and punish only those perpetrators who have refused to cooperate with the TC. I argue, however, that this compromise is untenable. As a general rule, if we justify the ICC on grounds of deterrence we should not accept conditional amnesties granted in national TCs.


International Criminal Court Deterrence Truth commissions Amnesties Restorative justice Declan Roche 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Studies in Legal Culture, Faculty of LawUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark

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