In Focus


The arrest of Ratko Mladic reignited debates on a wide spectrum of related issues, from its implications on the prospects for true reckoning with the past in the countries of the former Yugoslavia to the possible jolt it will give to Serbia’s hopes of joining the European Union. Beyond the immediate impact on the region, the strongest reverberations of Mladic’s transfer to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) will be felt in the discourse on international justice.


May 24, 2011 – The International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), Curious Pictures and Pivot Pictures hosted the premier of The Axe and the Tree: Zimbabwe’s Legacy of Political Violence at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Houghton, South Africa.


Brazil’s new government is showing strong support for the passage of a bill creating a National Truth Commission investigating past human rights violations, writes Eduardo González, director of ICTJ's Truth and Memory Program. ICTJ also spoke with Marlon Weichert, human rights activist and regional prosecutor for Brazil's Federal Public Ministry, on the current debate surrounding truth-seeking and accountability in Brazil.


ICTJ spoke with Marlon Weichert, prominent human rights advocate and regional prosecutor with the Federal Public Ministry of Brazil (Ministério Público Federal), on Brazil's pending truth commission bill and calls for accountability measures addressing past violations in Brazil.


As the United States and Colombia near the signing of a free-trade agreement and resolve differences over labor rights and other issues, the problematic extraditions of paramilitaries accused of savage crimes committed during the years of counter-insurgency remain far from the spotlight.


For a long time, making compromises on justice with powerful perpetrators of mass atrocities has been an integral part of peace negotiations ending conflicts. The immediate concern of ending the violence often resulted in amnesties for war crimes and crimes against humanity, sometimes even presenting the calls for justice as obstacles to peace.


ICTJ is pleased to announce the appointment of Theodore M. Shaw to its Governance Board. Mr. Shaw is an internationally recognized leader in the field of civil rights law. His broad experience as a civil rights advocate and scholar will bring added strategic vision to the Center’s board.


As the United States and global audiences were informed of the death of Osama bin Laden at the hands of U.S. special forces, we are reminded how crucially important justice is in the discourse on America’s fight against terrorism. On the eve of these momentous events, ICTJ President David Tolbert spoke to an audience at American University in Washington about the need for the U.S. to ensure accountability for the conduct of its “war on terror.”


As the number of victims of violence against demonstrators in Syria, Yemen, Bahrain and elsewhere in the region rises, a question emerges for the government of Bashar al-Assad of Syria, but also those of Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen, Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifah of Bahrain and the vacillating international community: Can impunity for such crimes be permitted in this day and age?