Reconciliation commissions have been established to address past injustices and gross human rights violations and to create a conducive environment for societies to transition towards more inclusive and peaceful societies. Since such institutions are by their very nature temporal bodies and can cease to function after a fixed period of time irrespective of whether the democratic transitions have been consolidated. How can the effectiveness of such bodies be measured in the post-commission period?
Rethinking Universal Jurisdiction as a tool liken to the framework of the African Peer Review Mechanism
This article argues that African states consider extra-territorial prosecution (Universal Jurisdiction) like the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) model that fosters self-monitoring. The APRM mechanism advances self-assessment for good governance through the strengthening of economic, social and corporate governance.
The peace versus justice debate is said to create a dilemma of two mutually exclusive agendas. Whereas one is meant to focus on the criminal prosecution of political and military elites who facilitated the perpetration of human rights violations either through malicious actions or interested omissions, the other aims at reaching a settlement, often in the form of a peace agreement, between all parties involved. Both of these approaches have their detractors, as the justice road seems to be prone to allow the resurgence of violence and that of peace to allow for blanket impunity.
Dialogue, an inclusive process that brings together a diverse set of voices provides a platform where people not only talk, but they think and communicate with one another acknowledging each other’s presence and experience. Unlike other forms of interaction, dialogue requires self-reflection, a spirit of inquiry, active participation and the openness to listen and acknowledge the other.
Legal Accountability and Redress for Conflict Related Sexual Violence against Men and Boys: Challenges and Gaps
Rape and other forms of sexual violence during conflict are prohibited under international humanitarian law and are punishable under international criminal law. Although sexual violence is prohibited against all categories, the practice of different tribunals has been that sexual violence against women and girls is more commonly prosecuted. Yet sexual violence against men is not uncommon, in present day and past conflict affected countries and has been documented in countries including the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central Africa Republic, South Sudan, Burundi and Uganda but has been often under recognized and suffered a lack of legal accountability mechanisms, with the perception that men are more often the perpetrators and less the victims.
Documentation is an essential facet of human rights activism and is a prerequisite for achieving unbiased and effective transitional justice mechanisms. While some transitional justice initiatives may only be possible after conflict, for example, reparations, others can begin initiated much earlier. Civil society engagement at every stage of the transitional justice process is therefore very crucial.
Justice For Victims of the Lord’s Resistance Army Insurgency in Uganda: Will the ICC Ongwen Judgment Rekindle the Fight for Reparations?
By Susan Nabatte The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) insurgency lasted for over two decades and was characterized by atrocities including kidnapping, mutilation, murder, sexual slavery and forced pregnancies. Since the commencement of peace negotiations between the Government of Uganda and the LRA rebels, there has been a willingness on the part of the Government of [...]
By UBuhle Zulu In 1962, American philosopher, Thomas Kuhn, introduced the world to the term 'new paradigm' in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. According to Kuhn, “ A paradigm is a universally recognizable... achievement that, for a time, provides model problems and solutions to a community of practitioners.” In Transitional Justice, the current model approach [...]
Should the African Union Transitional Justice Policy Engage with Environment and Environmental Justice?
By Ms. Munini Mutuku The African Union Transitional Justice Policy (AUTJP) which is a new milestone in the continents conquest for African solutions to African problems is a home grown tool kit that is crucial for the promotion of: human rights and justice, peace and security, good governance and development. Developed through a consultative process, [...]
By James Gondi and Rebecca Muthoni Mwangi African countries face a particular challenge when addressing their past. Neither independence nor the end of the Cold War brought effective democratic change, peace or prosperity. The most violent conflicts that shook the continent—the collapse of Somalia, Sierra Leone and Liberia, the Rwandan genocide of 1994, and the [...]