Sierra Leone: Work Continues in Justice For Women

Many of whom were excluded, with thanks to the Lib team there.

The Court’s work “represents a critical landmark for international justice in prosecuting sexual and gender-based crimes committed during conflicts,” UN Women said in a news release, adding that the Court’s jurisprudence played an essential role in advancing recognition in law of such crimes.

During a press briefing at UN Headquarters in New York, Ms. Bachelet also highlighted that the Court has laid the foundation in international humanitarian law, for the recognition of acts such as forced marriages as crimes against humanity.

The SCSL is currently completing the trial phase of its mandate, with operational funding secured only through the end of November. The Court’s leadership addressed the Security Council today, calling for increased funds and support from the international community to establish a Residual Special Court.

“The Court continues to face crucial funding gaps very critical to the completion of its judicial mandate and its residual mechanism,” the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Sierra Leone, Ebun A. Jusu, said during the meeting.

The Court also faces other challenges including not having enough staff, establishing communication with hundreds of witnesses in a safe environment, and developing indictments when there have been a multitude of crimes across a wide geographical area, said the Court’s Prosecutor, Brenda J. Hollis.

“We must keep in mind how fragile our accomplishment will be if we fail to keep faith with the people in the region who put their trust in you and in us,” the Court’s President, Shireen Avis Fisher, told the Council. “Our responsibility to these people will not cease. It must be taken up and advanced by the Residual Special Court of Sierra Leone.”

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