Twentieth Anniversary Commemoration and Formal Opening of the Peace Museum Memorial Garden
On 16 January 2002, the United Nations and the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone signed an historic agreement providing for the establishment of a Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL). This happened two days before the burning of arms on 18 January, to mark the end of the 11-year armed conflict. The mandate of the SCSL was to prosecute those persons bearing greatest responsibility for war crimes, crimes against humanity and other serious violations of international humanitarian law as well Sierra Leonean law committed during the conflict in Sierra Leone after 30 November 1996.
The SCSL would go on to investigate, prosecute and convict several leaders from the three main warring factions in the Sierra Leone conflict as well as the former president of Liberia, Charles Taylor. Most of the convicts received lengthy prison sentences. All but one of them was transferred to Rwanda to serve their sentences, pursuant to an enforcement of sentence agreement between the SCSL and the Government of Rwanda. In addition to its trials, which were completed in December 2013, the SCSL is widely recognized for introducing a more credible hybrid or mixed ad hoc tribunal model of accountability for international crimes and for its contribution of important judicial precedents to the development of international criminal law and justice.
16 January 2022 would mark the twentieth anniversary of the signing, in the Sierra Leonean capital Freetown, of the first bilateral treaty between the United Nations and one of its member states providing for the innovative a) establishment of an ad hoc penal tribunal to prosecute atrocity crimes, b) using a mix of national and international law, as well as c) employing a mix of national and international prosecutors, judges and staff. On that occasion, the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone together with the Center for International Law and Policy in Africa, will convene a commemoration of that historic moment as well as the end of the war in the march forward for the rule of law in Sierra Leone.
The twentieth anniversary would also be an opportunity for victims associations as well as high level Sierra Leonean government and United Nations officials, and members of the diplomatic community, academia and civil society, to mark the completion and opening of the memorial garden located in the former SCSL premises in New England. It would provide a chance to reflect on and take stock of the accomplishments and legacy of the SCSL as well as to honor the memory of the many victims of the notoriously brutal Sierra Leonean conflict which lasted between March 1991 and January 2002.
PROGRAM – RSCSL Premises / Sierra Leone Peace Museum New England, Freetown
Tuesday, 18 January 2022
09:30 – 10:00 Registration
10:00 – 10:10 Welcome and opening remarks:
Ms. Binta Mansaray, Registrar, RSCSL
10:10 – 10:15 Introductory remarks:
Prof. Charles C. Jalloh, Founder, CILPA and Professor, Florida International University and Member,
United Nations International Law Commission
10:15 – 11:30 Reflections on the Legacy of the Special Court for Sierra Leone – Panel 1
Moderator: Prof. Charles C. Jalloh
Mrs. Bernadette French, Director of Programs, Campaign for Good Governance
Mr. James C. Johnson, Prosecutor, RSCSL
Mr. Ibrahim Yillah, Principal Defender, RSCSL
Representative of CSOs – Mr. Abdul Rahim Kamara, Executive Director, Manifesto 99
Representative of Paramount Chiefs
Representative from Academia – Mr. Abubakarr Koroma, Head of Department of Law, University of Makeni
10:15 – 11:30 Reflections on the Legacy of the Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission – Panel 2
Moderator: Mr. Joseph F. Kamara, Former Deputy Prosecutor, Special Court for Sierra Leone
Mr. Stephen J. Rapp, former SCSL Prosecutor and United States Ambassador-at-Large for Global Criminal Justice
Prof. William A. Schabas, Middlesex University and former Commissioner, Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Ms. Yasmin Jusu Sheriff, former Executive Secretary, Interim Secretariat Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Representative from Academia – Mr. Rashid Dumbuya, Lecturer, Department of Law, Fourah Bay College
Representative of Paramount Chiefs
Representative of CSOs – Mr. Victor Ngegba, Secretary, Sierra Leone War Wounded and Amputees Association
11:30 – 12:15 Q & A / Discussion
12:15 – 1:30 Commemoration Luncheon
1:30 – 2:30 Keynote Speeches / Statements
Welcome Statement: Justice Jon Kamanda, President RSCSL
Mr. Anthony Y. Brewah, Attorney-General and Minister of Justice of Republic of Sierra Leone
Mr. Miguel de Serpa Soares, Under-Secretary General for Legal Affairs and Legal Counsel, United Nations
Amb. Madam Musu Jatu Ruhle, Dean of Diplomatic Corps
Mr. David Crane, First Prosecutor, SCSL
Ms. Simone Monasebian, First Principal Defender, SCSL
2:30 – 3:00 Guided Memorial Garden tour
Prayers – Muslim & Christian
Welcome and Tour of the Memorial Garden
Dedication of the Memorial Garden (Attorney-General, President of RSCSL and Chief Justice of the Republic of Sierra Leone)
Unveiling of Symbolic Graves
National Anthem – Sierra Leone Police Band
Symposium and Book Launch: The Legal Legacy of the Special Court for Sierra Leone on 17 December 2020.
The keynote speech was delivered by Member of the International Law Commission, Professor at Florida International University College of Law, and author Dr. Charles C. Jalloh.
Sierra Leone's Accession to the New York Convention: Significance, Opportunities, Challenges and Next Steps on 25 February 2021.
The keynote speech was delivered by the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice of Sierra Leone, the Hon. Anthony Y. Brewah, Esq.
ICC Colloquium Series: The ICC Prosecutor Election Process: A Post-Mortem on 29 March 2021.
The roundtable discussion was facilitated by Professor Charles Jalloh with commentary by Angela Mudukuti, Open Society Foundation; Ambassador Sabine Nölke, Chair, ICC Committee on the Election of the Prosecutor; and Owiso Owiso, PhD Candidate University of Luxembourg.