This briefing paper analyzes and reflects on the development of the ICC prosecutor’s strategy and application of procedural rules, since operations began at the International Criminal Court more than a decade ago. The mixed results of the court’s first cases, which arise from the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, underscore that the ICC, as a complementary forum, is not mandated to investigate and prosecute all international crimes. National courts must step in. The paper recommends, among other reforms, that the court explore new ways to adapt the Rules of Procedure and Evidence to take into consideration the important role and participation of civil society.
This briefing paper examines the potential in Mali for appropriate and effective transitional justice approaches that are reflective of the primary concerns and demands of citizens. Over 30 interviews were conducted with a wide range of actors in Bamako, including representatives of the state, judiciary, religious organizations, civil society, and international organizations. It concludes that positive steps have been taken toward advancing accountability in the country, but victims and civil society remain critical of the lack of integration among different transitional justice mechanisms as well as the government's top-down approach in a context where the local and communal are of primary importance.
This briefing paper assesses the situation in Ukraine with respect to democratic reforms being undertaken in the country following the mass uprising that ousted former President Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014. It examines issues of corruption and impunity, as well as the historical divide between eastern and western Ukraine at the root of ongoing conflict in the country. It is based largely on extended interviews conducted with representatives of government, civil society and international organizations in Kyiv.
This report asserts that dealing with past abuses in Myanmar is essential to achieving genuine progress on peacebuilding and economic development in the country. Conflict and high levels of political repression have racked Myanmar for more than half a century. Both President Thein Sein and opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi have highlighted rule of law and good governance as priorities for Myanmar alongside the development of a modern market economy and democracy.
This briefing paper reviews the Kenyan government’s response to sexual and gender-based violence committed against women, men, and children during the 2007/2008 post-election crisis. It draws on interviews with over 40 survivors about their experience and analyzes the laws and transitional justice mechanisms, like the Commission of Inquiry into Post-Election Violence, that have been put in place to address violations of the past and prevent their recurrence. It includes a set of recommendations to the government, the Attorney-General’s Office, and the National Police Service Commission on closing the accountability gap.
This joint report by ICTJ and the Kofi Annan Foundation explores common assumptions about why truth commissions are created in the wake of armed conflict and what factors make them more likely to succeed – or fail. It arises from a high-level symposium hosted by the two organizations in November 2013, which provided an opportunity for policy makers, practitioners, and scholars with significant experience in peacebuilding and transitional justice to discuss and reflect on truth commissions and the challenges of addressing accountability in peace negotiations. The report includes a foreword by Mr. Kofi Annan, a summary of discussions, two analytical papers, five case studies, and a set of conclusions.
This briefing paper summarizes the findings of consultations undertaken by ICTJ with women’s groups in Gulu, Lira, and Soroti on confronting impunity and engendering transitional justice processes in northern Uganda. Its purpose is to help incorporate women’s needs and justice demands into the drafting and implementation of the Ugandan government’s forthcoming transitional justice policy. The paper’s many detailed recommendations provide guidance on how transitional justice measures, such as material and symbolic reparations, can recognize and redress the specific harms suffered by women as a result of the LRA conflict.
This paper analyzes the contents of the Final Report that the Kenyan Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) presented to President Uhuru Kenyatta on May 21, 2013, after four years of investigations. In particular, it evaluates the report’s information and findings, the logic of the commission’s conclusions and recommendations, and the apparent efforts made by commissioners to examine notorious and contentious past conducts. The paper concludes that, despite the controversies that surrounded the TJRC during its tenure, the contents of the Final Report can be used to consolidate the search for justice for victims of historical injustices in Kenya.
This report examines the situation of impunity in Lebanon that has persisted since the 1975-1990 war through the lenses of core elements of transitional justice. It analyzes Lebanon’s past experience of ineffective transitional justice measures -- including limited domestic trials, narrowly mandated commissions of inquiry, and incomplete remedies for victims -- and their impact on Lebanese society. The report derives lessons that could help to initiate a broader accountability process in Lebanon in the interest of long-term peace and security.
This briefing paper focuses on establishing a credible approach to accountability and human rights in a post-conflict Syria. Looking ahead to an eventual resolution to the war, it recognizes that Syrian authorities and civil society, as well as the international community, will have to consider how to deal with crimes committed during the current conflict—and in preceding decades of repression under the Assad regime.