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In a major effort to promote accountability for serious crimes in Africa, ICTJ joined hundreds of human rights groups and transitional justice partners to ask the African Union to prioritize justice. Addressed to the new African Union (AU) Chairperson Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the letter warns that strained relationships between the AU and the International Criminal Court (ICC) may put justice at risk.

ICTJ welcomes the decision by the Special Court for Sierra Leone to uphold the guilty verdict against former Liberian President Charles Taylor for war crimes and crimes against humanity. The court dismissed challenges from Taylor’s defense, and the prosecution’s request for the sentence to be increased to 80 years, and affirmed his 50-year sentence with immediate effect.

The conviction of former Liberian president Charles Taylor for crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in neighboring Sierra Leone finds both West African countries and the region grappling with his terrible legacy. And while the people, and especially Taylor’s victims, in Sierra Leone welcome it as an important step in the country’s effort to overcome the consequences of the brutal civil war, Liberians are still a long way from seeing accountability for the suffering they endured.

In the Netherlands, a court sentenced an arms dealer to 19 years in prison for his role in war crimes in Liberia. What does his case tell us about pursuing justice for economic crimes in Liberia and beyond?

As the work of the Special Court for Sierra Leone draws to a close, we take stock of the historic milestones it has passed since its creation in advancing transitional justice through a special multimedia project, “ Exploring the Legacy of the Special Court for Sierra Leone.” This website will support two conferences: one in New York on November 7-8, 2012, and one in Freetown on January 9-10, 2013. The website will be regularly updated to provide information on the history of the court and its legacy through interactive multimedia and other features.

The International Center for Transitional Justice and the Special Court for Sierra Leone, with support from the Government of Canada, are pleased to announce "Exploring the Legacy of the Special Court for Sierra Leone," an expert conference in Freetown, 6-7 February, 2013.

Understanding education as a form of both reconstruction and reparations is essential for societies in their efforts to address victims’ rights and help victims and their families overcome the consequences of a painful past.

ICTJ Vice President Paul Seils writes that the ICC cannot endorse impunity measures any more than others committed to the defense of human rights and the struggle for peace and justice.

The latest ICTJ Program Report presents ICTJ’s work in Africa. In a deeply insightful interview, Suliman Baldo, director of ICTJ’s Africa program and one of the world’s leading experts on transitional justice in Africa, discusses transitional justice processes in Ivory Coast, Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Uganda.

In this edition of ICTJ's Program report, Kelli Muddell, director of ICTJ's Gender Justice program, reflects on ICTJ’s vision of gender justice, the challenges facing survivors of sexual and gender-based violence in times of transition, and how ICTJ is working to address inequality in countries like Colombia, Nepal, and Tunisia.

Reparations seek to recognize and address the harms suffered by victims of systematic human rights violations. ICTJ’s Reparative Justice program provides knowledge and comparative experience on reparations to victims' groups, civil society and policymakers worldwide. In this edition of the ICTJ Program Report, we look at ICTJ's work on reparations in dynamic transitional contexts such as Nepal, Colombia, Peru, DRC, and Uganda.

In the aftermath of armed conflict or repression, communities often struggle to rebuild social relations that have been damaged or destroyed by violence and abuse. Restorative justice can potentially play a valuable role in such societies, bringing together the people who have been harmed by crimes and the individuals responsible for those harms, often in the form of a dialogue, to address the offense and its consequences. A new ICTJ research report offers insight and guidance on the use of a restorative justice framework in responding to massive and grave human rights violations, drawing primarily from experiences in Colombia, Sierra Leone, Tunisia, and the Philippines’ Bangsamoro region.

As the Special Court for Sierra Leone wraps up cases against accused war criminals, a conference will be held later this week in Freetown to assess the Court’s work and lasting legacy. The conference is part of a larger international effort to look at how the court has helped to bring peace and establish the rule of law for the people of Sierra Leone, Liberia, and the region as a whole.
Truth commissions can make important contributions to peace processes if all parties can agree on common objectives and there is genuine local political will to shed light on past events. This is the key finding of a new study – titled “Challenging the Conventional: Can Truth Commissions Strengthen Peace Processes?” – to be released on 19 June 2014 by ICTJ and the Kofi Annan Foundation.

On August 30, 2012, ICTJ joined government officials and civil society in Freetown to celebrate the launch of a new website for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Sierra Leone and welcome the prospects for revitalization of Sierra Leone’s reconciliation.

On International Justice Day, July 17th, ICTJ looks at the legacy of the Special Court for Sierra Leone through the voices of those to whom its work was most important: the citizens of Sierra Leone. Our new multimedia project, “Seeds of Justice: Sierra Leone,” presents five portraits of Sierra Leoneans whose lives were impacted by this court.

South Africa Parliament faces a historic moment. In this op-ed, ICTJ's Vice President Paul Seils remembers the great hope that marked the ICC’s emergence: "No country embodied that hope and that reality more powerfully and more inspiringly than South Africa."

The Africa Union's resolution to collectively support a strategy to withdraw from the ICC looks more like a machination of those who have instrumentalized an argument against the court to protect themselves from the long arm of justice, write ICTJ's top experts on Africa.

The significance of Charles Taylor’s judgment rendered few days ago in The Hague goes far beyond Taylor himself, or even the Special Court for Sierra Leone. This decision will be an unavoidable legal precedent in any future deliberation of the role played by leaders and states in crimes committed by forces they support in other countries, writes ICTJ's president David Tolbert in this op-ed.

On International Criminal Justice Day, 2014, ICTJ joins the global celebrations marking the groundbreaking establishment of the Rome Statute in 1998, which created the International Criminal Court (ICC). To mark the day, we review five contexts where national systems proved it was possible to bring perpetrators to justice where it matters the most.

As we search for ways to halt the violence and foster lasting peace in societies grappling with a legacy of massive human rights abuse, there is arguably no more important day to reflect upon the importance of the struggle for truth and justice than today, March 24. Thus, we take a moment to mark the International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims.

The struggle against impunity remains as important –and precarious –as ever as we celebrate International Justice Day on July 17. ICTJ marks the occasion with a look at complementarity, a concept critical to understanding the role that the ICC and national courts play in this struggle.