• Featured
    Date published: 12/5/2018

    Committing to Justice for Serious Human Rights Violations: Lessons from Hybrid Tribunals

    Author: Elena Naughton

    This report aims to help practitioners in the transitional justice field to understand the experience of establishing and operating hybrid courts and to address some common assumptions about these entities. To do so, it looks at hybrid or mixed courts in practice, drawing on experiences in five different contexts: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Lebanon, Sierra Leone, and Timor-Leste. 

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  • Featured
    Date published: 5/4/2018

    Legal Frameworks for Specialized Chambers: Comparative Studies for the Tunisian Specialized Criminal Chambers

    Author: Howard Varney and Katarzyna Zduńczyk

    In some contexts, the global community has resorted to international tribunals to prosecute the most serious past crimes, such as war crimes, crimes against of humanity, and genocide. While these international efforts contributed significantly to international justice, they were resource draining and located outside the countries in which the crimes took place. To overcome these issues, the so-called hybrid court was developed that combines domestic and international law and personnel. Tunisia has adopted a purely domestic hybrid court.

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  • Featured
    Date published: 3/20/2017

    No Legacy for Transitional Justice Efforts Without Education

    Author: Elizabeth A. Cole

    Education, as a critically important institution that is widely considered to be both formative and transformative, is something that transitional justice cannot afford to overlook. Transitional justice in its early years did not directly engage with education, but today this has changed. The field has moved from discursively recognizing the importance of education (though placing it beyond the ambit of transitional justice practice temporally and philosophically) to trying to find models for active engagement with it. Education can interact with transitional justice mechanisms in a number of ways. Its structural importance as a site of justice or injustice places it within the ranks of institutions with whose reform transitional justice is concerned (alongside security sector and judicial institutions, among others). In addition, education can be both a form and site of reparations for past harms to individuals and groups. However, this hardly exhausts the potential scope of the possible interactions between these two sectors.

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  • Featured
    Date published: 12/8/2016

    When No One Calls It Rape: Addressing Sexual Violence Against Men and Boys

    Author: Amrita Kapur and Kelli Muddell

    Sexual violence against men and boys in times of conflict or repression is alarmingly common— and takes a markedly consistent form across contexts in terms of how it affects victims and societies as a human rights violation that is taboo to talk about. It has been committed in all cultures, geographic regions, and time periods. Today, while some of the silence surrounding the issue of sexual violence against women is being broken, unfortunately effective measures of justice and redress are still not understood or applied in ways that can support male victims.

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  • Date published: 1/13/2014

    Transitional Justice, Culture, and Society: Beyond Outreach

    Author: Clara Ramírez-Barat

    Transitional justice processes have a fundamental public dimension: their impact depends in part on the social support they receive. Beyond outreach programs, other initiatives, such as media and cultural interventions, can strengthen—or in some cases undermine—the public resonance of transitional justice. How can media and art be used to engage society in discussions around accountability? How do media influence social perceptions and attitudes toward the legacy of the past?

  • Date published: 9/1/2009

    The Charles Taylor Trial and Legacy of the Special Court for Sierra Leone

    Author: ICTJ, Mohamad Suma

    The Special Court for Sierra Leone-which began with the hope that it would be accessible to millions of Sierra Leoneans- has fallen short of its domestic goals. The decision to try Taylor in The Hague, rather than in Freetown, and the lack of adequate outreach activities made the court’s proceedings difficult to access for many in Sierra Leone and thus greatly lessened its impact upon the populace.

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  • Date published: 9/1/2009

    Where to From Here for International Tribunals?

    Author: ICTJ; Caitlin Reiger

    Hybrid courts have ranged from the ad hoc international Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda (ICTY and ICTR respectively), to the treaty-based Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) and Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), to international assistance to specialized units within national systems in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, and Timor-Leste. This paper was prepared for the conference "Fighting Impunity in Peacebuilding Contexts" in The Hague, in September 2009.

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  • Date published: 1/1/2009

    From the Taylor Trial to a Lasting Legacy: Putting the Special Court Model to the Test

    Author: ICTJ, Thierry Cruvellier

    The Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL or Special Court) was established in 2002 when the two United Nations (UN) ad hoc international tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda had already existed for several years and when the first lessons could be drawn from their experiences. Many observers praised the Special Court model as an innovation because it contained several important features that distinguish it from the purely international tribunals.

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  • Date published: 3/1/2006

    The Special Court for Sierra Leone Under Scrutiny

    Author: ICTJ; Tom Perriello, Marieke Wierda

    This case study provides basic information and policy analysis on the Special Court for Sierra Leone. It aims to help guide policymakers establishing and implementing similar mechanisms. The Court broke new ground in terms of narrowly focusing on those bearing the greatest responsibility for human rights abuses, allowing for a limited and efficient approach. However, the court faces significant challenges in terms of impact, legitimacy, fairness, and overall efficiency.

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  • Date published: 3/1/2004

    The Special Court for Sierra Leone: The First Eighteen Months

    Author: ICTJ

    This report describes the Special Court for Sierra Leone’s accomplishments in the first 18 months of its mandate. The Court was established to try "those bearing the greatest responsibility" for serious violations of international law and certain provisions of domestic law since November 1996. It has shown a clear understanding of its mandate and its management has been relatively efficient. Yet challenges remain in demonstrating its capacity to hold quality trials, as its focus shifts from investigations to trial work.

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