SCSL 20th Anniversary
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
CILPA Occasional Papers Presentation: Bringing the African Perspective to the ICC Reform Discussion
December 6, 2023 New York City, USA
Consultants from CILPA’s ICC-Africa Project presented their papers at a side event to the twenty-second session of the Assembly of States Parties organized by CILPA, in collaboration with the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Sierra Leone to the United Nations, with the aim of bringing African perspectives to the ongoing ICC reform discourse .
Necessary Voices, Missed Opportunities?
Strengthening the Engagement of Global South States with the Work of the International Law Commission
October 30, 2023 New York City, USA
CILPA in collaboration with the Permanent Missions of Mexico and Sierra Leone to the United Nations in New York hosted an interactive dialogue on Strengthening the Engagement of Global South States with the work of the International Law Commission on the margins of the International Law Week in New York.
The Current and Future work of the International Law Commission
November 4- 5, 2022 Miami, USA
The Florida International University College of Law (“FIU Law”), together with the CILPA convened a public symposium in Miami to discuss The Current and Future Work of the International Law Commission which was followed by a private workshop on upcoming ILC topics. Special Rapporteurs represented their work in discussion with panelists from practice and academia.
Role of Regional and International Codification Bodies in the Development of International Law
October 26, 2022 New York City, USA
CILPA in collaboration with the Office of Legal Counsel of the African Union Commission organized an interactive dialogue in New York for members from the AUCIL, CAHDI, and the ILC, along with representatives of States and academia, to engage in a preliminary dialogue with the view to determining what further collaboration might hold for the further codification and progressive development of regional and international law in Africa and internationally.
Universal Criminal Jurisdiction: A Key Tool in the Fight Against Impunity for Atrocity Crimes in Ukraine and Beyond?
October 25, 2022 New York City, USA
CILPA and the International Bar Association – hosted by Debevoise & Plimpton LLP – convened an interactive dialogue on Universal Criminal Jurisdiction: A Key Tool in the Fight for Atrocity Crimes in Ukraine and Beyond?, in New York, and online. The discussion reflected a range of perspectives from academia, State representatives, experts from the International Law Commission and global civil society.
Independent Expert Workshop: Bringing the African Perspective to the ICC Reform Discussion
October 7 - 8, 2022 Freetown, Sierra Leone
CILPA commissioned three independent consultants to conduct research into the experience of African States with the aim of identifying key concerns about the ICC reform process and proposing strategic recommendations to feed into the ongoing ICC reform discourse. Bringing together the consultants and invited legal experts, predominantly based in Africa, the Workshop was a working session with detailed examination of specific themes and provisions identified by the consultants.
Independent Expert Workshop: Draft Rules Of Procedure and the Elements of Crimes for the African Court of Justice and Human and Peoples’ Rights
May 13-14, 2022
The Hague, Netherlands
The Independent expert meeting brought together the legal experts who prepared the first drafts of the Rules of Procedure and the Elements of Crime documents in the ACRI Project , the consultant reviewer, and select expert practitioners with relevant experience in the African Court and issues of international dispute settlement.
SCSL 20th Anniversary - Commemoration and Formal Opening of the Peace Museum Memorial Garden
January 18, 2022 Freetown, Sierra Leone
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). 16 January 2022 marked the twentieth anniversary of this signing and to celebrate this event CILPA and The Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone convened a commemoration.
SCSL LEGACY - The Legacy of the Special Court for Sierra Leone
December 17, 2020 Freetown, Sierra Leone
The purpose of this symposium was to examine, from a national perspective, whether the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL), which was established jointly through an unprecedented bilateral treaty between the United Nations (UN) and the Government of Sierra Leone in January 2002 and completed its work in December 2013, left a legal legacy for the jurisprudence and practice for the nascent and still unsettled field of international criminal law.