University of Sussex
Andre, Wendy Marie.pdf (2.18 MB)

Can alternative justice mechanisms satisfy the aims of international criminal justice? The cases of Mato Oput and the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Download (2.18 MB)
posted on 2023-06-09, 12:57 authored by Wendy Marie Andre
The role of alternative justice mechanisms (AJMs) in international criminal justice (ICJ) has been the subject of rigorous debate in recent years. This thesis joins the discussion by investigating whether AJMs can achieve the aims of ICJ that are attributed to criminal prosecutions. If AJMs can attain ICJ goals, there are important implications for the entire complementarity regime at the International Criminal Court (ICC), requiring ICC judges to defer prosecutions in their favour. By establishing a framework against which ICC trials and AJMs can be evaluated, the thesis contributes to the debate and aims to provide an element of consistency in an area which is dominated by creative ambiguity. Arguing that criminal prosecutions have a limited impact on ICJ aims, the thesis considers AJMs generally before undertaking an in-depth historical and comparative analysis of the Mato Oput process in Uganda and the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (SATRC). It concludes that Mato Oput does not satisfy the goals of ICJ and therefore would be unlikely to persuade the Court to defer prosecutions. It suggests, however, that an AJM based on the SATRC model would have the potential to attain many ICJ goals and therefore the ICC should declare a situation where the state adopts this method of justice and accountability inadmissible to the ICC. Finally, the thesis examines the decisions of the ICC judges in previous admissibility challenges and argues that they must demonstrate a broader and more flexible approach when interpreting the ICC’s mandate if AJMs are to satisfy the complementarity principle. Doing so would also help to avert the growing antipathy of many African states towards the ICC and ensure the future support and co-operation of states parties.


File Version

  • Published version



Department affiliated with

  • Management Theses

Qualification level

  • doctoral

Qualification name

  • phd


  • eng


University of Sussex

Full text available

  • Yes

Legacy Posted Date


Usage metrics

    University of Sussex (Theses)


    No categories selected