The Siracusa Institute’s worldwide project on Post-Conflict Justice, entitled “Fighting Impunity and Promoting International Justice”, lasted from 2007 to 2009, although its genesis dates back to 1997. The “Fighting Impunity and Promoting International Justice” project organized three preparatory meetings, one preparatory conference in Geneva, five regional conferences and one final international conference. This project involved 827 experts who were members of international tribunals, truth commissions, human rights organizations and torture victim centers and included government officials, judges, prosecutors, members of civil society, distinguished academics, ambassadors, experts in the fields of international criminal law, human rights, and post-conflict justice, and representatives of prominent IGOs and human rights NGOs. Two publications – one in English, the other in Arabic – resulted from this program.
The project was funded by the EuropeAid Office of the European Commission and benefited from the support of a number of other academic organizations, including the International Human Rights Law Institute (IHRLI) of the DePaul University College of Law, the International Association of Penal Law (AIDP), and the Irish Centre for Human Rights of the National University of Ireland. The regional conferences were sponsored by the following institutions: Arab Organization for Human Rights (Egypt); Cairo University, Faculty of Law (Egypt); National Council for Human Rights (Egypt); League of Arab States (Egypt); MacArthur Foundation; University of Ain Shams, Faculty of Law (Egypt); Instituto Interamericano de Derechos Humanos (Costa Rica); Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (South Africa); International Commission of Jurists (Thailand); Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies (Netherlands); T.M.C. Asser Instituut (Netherlands).
“Fighting Impunity and Promoting International Justice” was developed to promote integrated approaches to Post-Conflict Justice (PCJ), and to link domestic strategies to the evolving role of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The project used a combination of comparative research and global advocacy as a means to assist governments, intergovernmental organizations, and civil society in reviewing PCJ experiences as a way to determine the most appropriate policy responses. Indeed, one of the project’s goals was to enhance accountability and to reduce impunity for international crimes. Parallel to the work of the five regional conferences, the Institute enlisted the scholarship of 46 experts, whose research along complementary geographic and thematic tracks has become the most comprehensive survey of conflicts, victimization, and PCJ modalities ever produced.
The project’s objectives were to: strengthen the international commitment to justice evidenced by the creation of the ICC; increase institutional efforts to forge a general framework for promoting accountability, reconciliation and rehabilitation; and support national institutions in countries emerging from conflict. The project’s final publication, a two-volume, 1,960-page edited compilation of scientific studies on post-conflict justice, will serve those concerned with promoting peace and security in post-conflict environments, and will also become part of a comprehensive peace-building strategy for countries emerging from conflict. In this respect, the project supports and complements UN efforts to enhance the rule of law in post-conflict situations.