Washington and Lee law professor Mark Drumbl published a commentary in InterGentes, the McGill Journal of International Law and Legal Pluralism. In the piece, title “Atrocity, Crime, and Justice: Thick and Thin Accounts,” Prof. Drumbl discusses how the line between victim and victimizer can sometimes blur in times of atrocity. However, Drumbl argues that the law is not built to account for this.
International criminal law, on the other hand, tends to eschew permeability. The energy of criminal law is one of finality and disjunctive category: guilty or not-guilty, victim or perpetrator, oppressor or oppressed, right or wrong, powerful or powerless. The criminal law’s status as the iconic manner in which to deliver accountability for atrocity thereby hinges upon a vocabulary that struggles to narrate how and through whom atrocity occurs.