As the work of the Special Court for Sierra Leone draws to a close, we take stock of the historic milestones it has passed since its creation in advancing transitional justice through a special multimedia project, "Exploring the Legacy of the Special Court for Sierra Leone."
This website will support two conferences: one in New York on November 7-8, 2012, and one in Freetown on January 9-10, 2013. The website will be regularly updated to provide information on the history of the court and its legacy through interactive multimedia and other features.
When the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) was established in 2002, it represented hope for the millions of Sierra Leoneans who had endured 11 years of fear, brutality, and constant warfare. "The SCSL offered the chance for the country to heal by prosecuting those who are most responsible for atrocities," said ICTJ President David Tolbert, "including former Liberian President Charles Taylor, the first sitting African head of state to be indicted for war crimes and crimes against humanity."
Since 2002, ICTJ has been fortunate to work on many transitional justice and peace-building projects in Sierra Leone, primarily those involving the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, its reparations program, and, of course, the Special Court. ICTJ has provided technical advice to the Court since its inception, particularly on matters relating to its lasting impact on judicial institutions in the country and on the people of Sierra Leone.
The project will present the history of the SCSL through an interactive timeline, and a series of podcasts will explore the multi-dimensional aspects of the Special Court's legacy. To feature personal reflections from Sierra Leoneans themselves, a multimedia gallery will present the voices of those whose lives have crossed paths with the court and who can reflect on its impact, both on their lives and on the country. Through the website, you will be able to follow the conference in Freetown on January 9-10, 2013 through blog posts and video.
Like the legacy of the SCSL itself, this website will live longer than the conferences. ICTJ wants this website to become an educational tool, where anybody who is interested in the SCSL will be able to find compelling and engaging resources on its groundbreaking work and lasting legacy.