The Judicialization of Peace

As international courts gain in influence, many worry that they will impoverish domestic politics. This paper (co-authored with Sandra Borda and Courtney Hillebrecht), focuses on the Colombian peace process, to show that these concerns misconstrue the way international courts actually work. The 2016 Colombian peace accord opens the way to a far less punitive peace than many of those familiar with the courts and underlying treaties would have deemed possible. The effect of the engagement of the international courts in Colombia has not been to impose rigid conditions from afar, but rather to allow domestic players to reinterpret the content of Colombia’s international legal obligations: the terms of Colombia’s peace were produced through—not despite—the international courts’ ongoing deliberative engagement with the peace process. The Article draws on original empirical data to reveal precisely how the international courts enabled the construction of Colombia’s sui generis agreement.