Between Positive Complementarity and Magical Legalism: Colombia and International Criminal Justice

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This article offers an overview and analysis of the findings regarding the case of Colombia within the EU cost Action ca18228 (the Action) and the Scoping Survey examining states’ encounters with international criminal justice. It explores Colombia’s nuanced and multifaceted approach to international criminal justice frameworks, focusing on the intersection of transnational crimes and the intricate dynamics of internal armed conflicts. It presents Colombia’s multi-scalar legal approach to attempting to establish a positive complementarity and multilevel rule-of-law system, acknowledging the challenges inherent in integrating international law with diverse levels of governance and local legislation. It highlights how the ongoing implementation of the peace process and transitional justice mechanisms have sparked debates about striking the delicate balance between peace and justice, conducting in some cases expressions of magical legalism. This article’s significance rests in the idea that Colombia’s experience serves as an illustrative case study of the complexities involved in applying a multi-scalar positive complementarity legal approach and multilevel legal framework in the pursuit of justice for both national and international crimes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Criminal Law Review
Early online date13 Jun 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Jun 2024

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