Justice in wartime: how to prepare peace?
Rewatch the Rendez-vous de l’Expertise of the 29 March 2023
Providing justice in times of war and armed conflict represents a considerable challenge. How to maintain access to justice and the essential missions of the public service of justice in a territory that is under fire? How can we go into the field, in contact with the affected populations, often refugees in other States, to collect their testimonies and document the abuses committed? How do the different actors involved, judges, investigators, NGOs, lawyers, work to help fight against impunity and prosecute the perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity? What reparation measures, collective or individual, should be taken for the victims?
The latest conflicts, whether in Ukraine, Colombia or the Central African Republic, show that more and more, dispensing justice requires a good coordination between different levels of investigation: the national level, the regional level, and the international level (International Criminal Court, special courts such as those set up in Rwanda, Kosovo, Cambodia,…). Moreover, the courts decide in real time, and not after the end of a conflict, which raises the question of their impartiality and the effectiveness of the rights to be guaranteed to the persons prosecuted. How can we ensure that the justice rendered by these courts is not perceived as being that of the victors? Does transitional justice have a particular role to play in countries that have experienced civil war, and for which the reintegration of convicted persons into the community is crucial to ensure peace ?
This edition of the Rendez-vous de l’Expertise will bring together the views of judges, jurists, lawyers and NGOs. Confronted with these challenges, they will share with us their experience of their daily work, the difficulties they encounter in carrying out their missions, their needs, their hopes, and the way in which, each at their own level, they work to ensure that justice is done.
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Professor of international law at the University of Lille
Maria Isabel Cubides
Lawyer and member of the Association of Franco-Colombian Lawyers.
Head of the Gambia office of the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ)
International justice expert of the European project Pravo-Justice.
International Judge at the Specialised Chambers for Kosovo (SCK) since 2019
Expert in Transitional Justice to the United Nations in Colombia
International Judge at the Special Criminal Court of the Central African Republic, Doctor of Law
Artist, author – with Julien Seroussi – of the installation Muzungu
Chief Executive Officer at Expertise France