Source: (2010) paper presented at the African Transitional Justice Research Network Workshop “Advocating Justice: Civil Society and Transitional Justice in Africa” 30–31 August 2010, Johannesburg, South Africa

Since the country’s 11-year war ended, an internationally designed Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) has come and gone, while the United Nations-backed criminal court is about to wrap up its final deliberations in the prosecutions of about 10 men deemed most responsible for fomenting the conflict. The Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) was set up jointly by the government of Sierra Leone and the United Nations (UN). It is mandated to try those who bear the greatest responsibility for serious violations of international humanitarian law and Sierra Leonean law committed in Sierra Leone since 30 November 1996. Currently, the three cases being heard in Freetown have been completed, including appeals. The trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor is in the defense phase at The Hague. In order to maximize civil society input in the implementation of these institutions, two coalitions were established: first, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Working Group (TRCWG), which was tasked with coordinating civil society input into a credible TRC, and, later, the Special Court Working Group, which was renamed the Coalition of Justice and Accountability. This paper will detail the activities of the Working Group. (excerpt)

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