The justice cascade

The origins and effectiveness of prosecutions of human rights violations

Kathryn Sikkink, Hun Joon Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The justice cascade refers to a new global trend of holding political leaders criminally accountable for past human rights violations through domestic and international prosecutions. In just three decades, state leaders have gone from being immune to accountability for their human rights violations to becoming the subjects of highly publicized trials in many countries of the world. New research suggests that such trials continue to expand and often result in convictions, including some of high-level state officials. This article summarizes research on the origins of the justice cascade and its effects on human rights practices around the world. It presents evidence that such prosecutions are affecting the behavior of political leaders worldwide and have the potential to help diminish human rights violations in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-285
Number of pages17
JournalAnnual Review of Law and Social Science
Volume9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Nov 1
Externally publishedYes

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human rights violation
prosecution
justice
leader
human rights
responsibility
trend
evidence

Keywords

  • deterrence effect
  • diffusion
  • human rights violations
  • prosecutions
  • truth commissions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law

Cite this

The justice cascade : The origins and effectiveness of prosecutions of human rights violations. / Sikkink, Kathryn; Kim, Hun Joon.

In: Annual Review of Law and Social Science, Vol. 9, 01.11.2013, p. 269-285.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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