Regional Approach to Transitional Justice? Examining the Special Court for Sierra Leone and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for Liberia
76 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2009 Last revised: 20 Mar 2016
Date Written: November 9, 2009
This Article re-conceptualizes the idea of transitional justice mechanisms as varying approaches meant solely to address the legacy of abuse in one nation, and proposes that transitional justice mechanisms can also encompass regional and transnational efforts to respond to mass human rights violations occurring across societies. This Article focuses on the challenges posed by trials and truth seeking mechanisms in conflicts where massive human rights violations have occurred across nations and argues that where these mechanisms have been established without regard to the regional or transnational nature of human rights violations, such mechanisms will encounter problems of coordination including legal primacy, information sharing, and access to detainees. This Article analyzes these critical issues by examining the transitional justice mechanisms in Liberia and Sierra Leone and highlights the challenges posed by the failure to take a regional approach. The Article proposes that adopting a regional approach when designing transitional justice mechanisms in the aftermath of mass atrocity across societies is the best means for achieving long-term peace, stability, and respect for human rights within the affected region.
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