Charles Taylor, Arms Dealers, and Reparations
JURIST, Academic Commentary, June 2012
6 Pages Posted: 7 Jun 2012 Last revised: 28 May 2013
Date Written: June 7, 2012
This short piece makes two arguments: 1. The verdict against Charles Taylor in the Trial Chamber of the Special Court for Sierra Leone is historic. It convicted him principally of aiding and abetting the mass violence, largely through the trade of arms for so-called conflict diamonds. The verdict held that someone who sells arms into a conflict knowing that they will be used to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity commits a crime. 2. The sentence against Taylor, consisting solely of imprisonment, was disappointing. The Court did not use its authority under the SCSL Statute to order forfeiture of the proceeds of Taylor's crime. Such an order could have contributed to deterring other arms dealers from selling into similar situations, and might have provided resources for reparations to the victims of his crimes.
Keywords: arms dealers, reparations, aiding and abetting, Sierra Leone, Charles Taylor, international criminal sentencing
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