International Criminal Justice Processes in Rwanda and Sierra Leone: Lessons for Liberia

Charles C. Jalloh and Olufemi Elias, eds., Shielding Humanity: Essays in International Law in Honour of Judge Abdul G. Koroma, Leiden/Boston: Martinus Nijhoff Brill, June 2015 pp. 447-509

Florida International University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 15-12

U. of Pittsburgh Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2015-23

68 Pages Posted: 8 Mar 2015 Last revised: 12 Aug 2015

See all articles by Charles Chernor Jalloh

Charles Chernor Jalloh

Florida International University College of Law

Andrew Morgan

Independent

Date Written: March 6, 2015

Abstract

This article seeks to evaluate the role and contributions of the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) to the task of dispensing justice to those most responsible for the commission of international crimes during the Rwandan and Sierra Leonean conflicts. The authors contrast those two situations to that of Liberia, where a Truth and Reconciliation Commission was set up in lieu of criminal accountability. We argue that part of the unfair criticism of international criminal law is driven by the unrealistic expectation that ad hoc criminal courts such as the ICTR and the SCSL cannot only mete out credible justice, but also help to restore peace and promote national reconciliation in deeply divided post conflict societies. We submit that, even in best case scenarios, such courts can only serve justice to individual perpetrators of horrific crimes in fair trials that complies with their statutes and international human rights law. We therefore call for a return to their primary intended roles as criminal courts when evaluating their legacies. Toward that end, we test the work of the ICTR and the SCSL against eight factors relevant to assessing their achievements and limitations as criminal courts. We show that, although ours is not an empirical study, it appears that those special tribunals made important contributions to the process of giving justice to victims of atrocity crimes in Rwanda and Sierra Leone.

Keywords: Special Court for Sierra Leone, International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, Charles Jalloh, Andrew Morgan

Suggested Citation

Jalloh, Charles Chernor and Morgan, Andrew, International Criminal Justice Processes in Rwanda and Sierra Leone: Lessons for Liberia (March 6, 2015). Charles C. Jalloh and Olufemi Elias, eds., Shielding Humanity: Essays in International Law in Honour of Judge Abdul G. Koroma, Leiden/Boston: Martinus Nijhoff Brill, June 2015 pp. 447-509; Florida International University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 15-12; U. of Pittsburgh Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2015-23. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2574998

Charles Chernor Jalloh (Contact Author)

Florida International University College of Law ( email )

11200 SW 8th Street
RDB Hall 1097
Miami, FL 33199
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.fiu.edu

Andrew Morgan

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

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