As the modern crop of international criminal tribunals finish their caseloads, concerted efforts to define affirmative transitional justice (TJ) legacies have begun. Having prosecuted significantly fewer accused than its closest relatives, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) — just nine trials in more than a decade, at a cost of several hundred million dollars4 — the task facing the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) is especially challenging. No doubt the supporters of the SCSL will seek to rest their plaudits on evidence suggesting that segments of Sierra Leonean society hold broadly positive views of the trials and believe that the Court contributed to bringing peace to Sierra Leone.5 However, these arguments should be approached with a degree of circumspection. In a country destroyed by poverty, war and crime, and in dire need of some form of accountability, such evidence, whilst part of the overall picture, speaks little to more specialised aspects of legacy. The Court, as a legal institution, needs also to be judged on whether the trials were fair and impartial, whether the practice and procedure provide valuable precedent for other domestic and international legal processes and whether justice was actually done.
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- Comparing Fairness and Due Process in the RUF and CDF cases: Consequences for the Legacy of the Special Court for Sierra Leone
QC Wayne Jordash
Matthew R. Crowe
- Palgrave Macmillan UK