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Legal pluralism as a lens through which to understand the role and place of TJMS in international criminal justice
The Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law  (IF),  Pub Date : 2020-05-03, DOI: 10.1080/07329113.2020.1780387
Emma Charlene Lubaale

Abstract This article makes a contribution to existing literature by developing a pluralist account for international criminal justice, specifically where there are Traditional Justice Mechanisms (TJMs) at play. This account has the effect of challenging the dominant assumption that TJMs have no place in international criminal justice, in particular, where the option to conduct criminal prosecution is considered. Subsequent to the background section, the second section engages with literature on legal pluralism in international criminal justice. This review constitutes an analytical framework for evaluating the ways in which TJMs can interact with other systems of justice. The third section provides an overview of the Ugandan conflict with a view to demonstrating the multiple approaches invoked in addressing the effects of the conflict in Uganda. The fourth section gives an overview of the scope and nature of TJMs while the fifth section engages with the criticisms leveled against TJMs. In light of the discussion in the fifth section, it is recommended that if TJMs in Uganda are to be properly contextualized and understood, there is a need to interpret the Juba Peace Agreement through a legal pluralism lens. The sixth section engages with the practical ways that TJMs can play a role in criminal proceedings before the ICC and national courts. Overall, the argument advanced is that where the option to prosecute is considered by the ICC, TJMs should, on a case by case basis, play a role within the framework of international criminal justice. Rather than choosing between TJMs and international criminal justice, emphasis should be placed on how TJMs and international criminal justice complement each other.