Date of Award

Winter 2-1-2021

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)


Sarah Lockhart, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Caley Johnson, Ph.D.


Since their inception, scholars have questioned the efficacy of internationalized criminal tribunals, or ICTs. ICTs are a tool for the international community to deal with and punish perpetrators of atrocities. More recent ad hoc (or ‘as needed’) tribunals, such as the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) also stated goals beyond the retributive justice of punishment; they sought to promote reconciliation. I examined why these courts were ultimately unable to promote reconciliation. Through an analysis of the histories, formation, and implementation of the ICTY and SCSL, I found that these tribunals were limited in their capacity to promote reconciliation because of their commitment to norms of retributive justice. Despite expressly stating goals of reconciliation, neither tribunal was able to make a discernible impact on reconciliation in the Balkans or in Sierra Leone. Instead, ICTs are a way for the international community to further their normative notions of justice without promoting reconciliation for the civilian populations harmed in violent conflict.