ICTJ joins friends around the world to celebrate International Justice Day
Dear friends, July 17, On this day, we reflect on the progress made in the long struggle for accountability, particularly the adoption of the Rome Statute on July 17, 1998, which established the International Criminal Court (ICC).
To mark the day, I invite you to explore our new multimedia project: Seeds of Justice: Sierra Leone
In “Seeds of Justice,” we present the voices of five Sierra Leoneans whose lives were touched by the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL): a women’s rights activist, a lawyer, a traditional chief, a businesswoman, and a former child soldier who now advocates for the rights of the disabled.
The SCSL was established in 2002 after the end of Sierra Leone’s brutal civil war, and it represented hope for the millions of Sierra Leoneans who had endured 11 years of fear, brutality, and constant warfare.
More than 10 years later, the SCSL has put on trial a number of the most responsible perpetrators of crimes during the country’s civil war, including former Liberian President Charles Taylor, the first sitting African head of state to be indicted for war crimes and crimes against humanity. The SCSL is one of the several internationalized courts that helped pave the way for the establishment of the ICC, the world’s first permanent international criminal court.
Though there are many remaining challenges for Sierra Leone to ensure justice for victims of the conflict, these portraits convey a clear sense that the work of the Special Court will contribute to establishing the rule of law in the country.
This is well articulated by Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles, principal defender at the Special Court:
“West Africa was up in flames before the court came. But [now], perpetrators know in no uncertain terms that the long arm of the law is here to stay.”
“Seeds of Justice: Sierra Leone” is the culmination of ICTJ’s year-long project, Exploring the Legacy of the Special Court of Sierra Leone, in which we examined the impact of this innovative court through interactive online content and two international conferences.
The portraits are also the latest project in ICTJ’s extensive multimedia library of video, audio, and interactive content, which we produce to present the powerful stories and key issues from the field of transitional justice.
On International Justice Day, I invite you to visit ICTJ’s website to experience these human stories that inspire our work and serve as a continual reminder of the core principles of ICTJ: truth, justice, and dignity.
Sincerely,David Tolbert, President
International Center for Transitional Justice
5 Hanover Square, 24th Floor
New York, NY 10004 USA
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