The Journal on peace process and human dignity has been founded at the initiative of a professor of International Law, presently ICTY Judge, Flavia Lattanzi, and two PHD graduates, practitioners of both International Law and International Relations, David Donat-Cattin, presently Secretary General of Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA), and Valeria Santori, presently international consultant.
Why a Journal on peace processes and human dignity?
With the expression “peace processes” one refers to the full range of internal and international processes, mechanisms, tools, informal initiatives and actions aiming at the prevention (including through addressing their root causes), management and/or resolution of armed conflicts or situations of tension, crisis or destabilization, the restoration and maintenance of peace after a conflict has arisen, the achievement of reconciliation and related goals.
Politicians, mediators, lawyers and other practitioners and researchers have shown a certain degree of creativity in addressing, conceiving, devising and testing new means for achieving internal and international peace and security. Such means, however, have not always been adequate from the point of view of pursuing peace, an ambitious goal in its own merit, while fully respecting human dignity. It would seem that, at times, human rights have been sacrificed to the achievement of stabilization.
The Journal on Peace Processes and Human Dignity, however, starts from the premise that human rights and peace are two, strictly intertwined, fundamental values. There is no genuine peace without respect of human dignity.. This Journal aims to focus particularly on the basic question of how to respect human dignity along the path towards a lasting peace, its founders being convinced that effective pacification, stabilization and national reconciliation are not possible in disregard of the rights of the victims. Similarly, the rights of individuals implicated in armed conflict must be fulfilled, whether before national or international jurisdictions, special jurisdictions created ad hoc by agreements stipulated in the context of a eace process or by international organizations.
At the same time, access to justice can be assured by judicial and para-judicial mechanisms, while political and institutional reforms, backed by adequate administrative procedures, may reinforce them. While an abstract notion of justice does not exclude the possibility of pardon or other forms of forgiveness, each situation shall be examined on a case-by-case basis, bearing in mind the perspective provided by the victims, whose human rights are inalienable. On the other hand, access to reparations is part of the victims’ right to justice, whereby reparations may also entail the recognition and public acknowledgement of responsibilities and truth-finding at inter-State or infra-State level.
Contributions offering analytical assessments of the tools of transitional systems, with a constitutional comparative approach and in light of international principles and standards will be welcome. From security sector reforms to post-conflict peace-building schemes, the Journal will strive to engage with experts to evaluate to strengths and weakness of domestic and international mechanisms to bring about peace under the Rule of Law, or “peace through the law”.
A place will also be devoted in this Journal to the important contribution by all actors engaged in peace processes, including civil society organizations and other non-State actors. Indeed, the inadequacy of the current status of global affairs may be the starting point of extremely critical positions, which will challenge the status quo and which some NGOs might be best placed to represent.
The Journal further aims to analyze the relations between different kinds of peace processes tools, with the goal to explore which ones could be the most effective taking into consideration the specific situation of the country(ies) involved in the process. In this context, topics like the appropriateness, legality and legitimacy of the use of force for humanitarian purposes may be addressed within the backdrop of peace processes and human dignity. Can military interventions, in particular when their proclaimed purpose would be to help the civilian population in a grave emergency or, more in general, to “export democracy”, contribute to a peace process? What is the relationship between the use of force in a given case and the modality of the relevant military interventions? On the other hand, can the absence of use of proportional and necessary force be conducive to the escalation of armed conflicts and, in the end, amplify the needs and requirements for genuine peace processes?
These are only few of the many questions that the Editorial Board will be delighted to discuss with contributors and readers.
With a view to allowing a broad-spectrum and comprehensive methodological approach, this Journal strives to offer a forum for an analysis and discussion based on a multidisciplinary approach: political, social, legal. Complexity distinguishes many crises and their possible resolution. A multi-focused analytical approach could offer sufficient grounds for reflection on possible ways out, and represents the singular added value of our initiative.
This journal is therefore open to contributions by academicians, practitioners and experts from governments, international organizations, civil society and other relevant fields. Contributions will be accepted in English, French, Italian and Spanish. In the future, we will actively consider the possibility of accepting some contributions in Arabic and other languages, if the resources of the publisher could allow for a translation in English.