The Special Criminal Court and Other Options for Accountability in the Central African Republic: Legal and Policy Recommendations
International Nuremberg Principles Academy, Occasional Paper No. 2
53 Pages Posted: 13 Apr 2016 Last revised: 22 Jun 2016
Date Written: April 11, 2016
This paper examines the proposed options for justice and reconciliation in the Central African Republic and proposes policy recommendations on how mechanisms identified should be implemented. It provides a detailed analysis of the relationship between various options for justice, including the International Criminal Court and the proposed Special Criminal Court considered within the national transitional justice framework – the Republican Pact for Peace, National Reconciliation and Reconstruction – agreed upon by the Bangui Forum on May 11, 2015. With respect to the Special Criminal Court, it reflects upon its operation based on the current text of the law, and proposes policy recommendations drawn in part from the experience of similar courts as they relate to subject matter jurisdiction, the prosecutorial function, victims’ rights, witness protection, the court’s relationship with other courts as well as non-judicial accountability mechanisms. The paper discusses how mechanisms of (criminal) accountability relate to the broader transitional justice project, including constitutional reforms and others aimed at establishing peace and stability. Adopting a broad conception of justice – one that is not restricted to retributive justice – the paper locates victims within the transitional justice and criminal accountability project and argues that peace and stability as long term goals will remain elusive if the concerns of victims – however defined – are not addressed. The paper consequently argues that policy makers must fashion responses that address a multiplicity of concerns and interests in the Central African Republic.
Keywords: CAR, Special Criminal Court, Truth Commission, Accountability, Seleka rebels, Anti Balaka, International criminal court
JEL Classification: K14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation