Updated: Dec 7, 2018
In celebration of its Second Anniversary, on 22 October 2018, Guernica 37 International Justice Chambers held the panel discussion “Transitional Justice Mechanisms in Conflict and Post-Conflict Scenarios”.
During the event, Co-founders Almudena Bernabéu and Toby Cadman, as well as Advisory Board Members HHJ Joanna Korner CMG QC and Ambassador Stephen J. Rapp, responded to a wide range of questions posed by the Chambers Director, Carl Buckley.
The panel members, coming from backgrounds in judicial, prosecutorial, governmental, legal, and victim based groups and institutions, jointly analysed some of the most concerning and urgent situations of systematic violence in post-conflict scenarios, and discussed with the audience some innovative developments in international criminal justice and the landmarks of their professional careers.
Ambassador Stephen J. Rapp started by discussing the current U.S. legal and political panorama regarding international justice and advocated for the establishment of specialised hybrid courts, with a bottom-up approach, to enhance accountability in transitional scenarios.
Almudena Bernabéu continued by discussing the Syria and Guatemala cases she led before the Spanish National Court and analysed future prospects for universal jurisdiction proceedings: “Universal Justice is an effective tool which allows to pursue justice in post-conflict situations where victims need help—particularly, given the current ICC and UNSC crisis”.
HHJ Joanna Korner CMG QC focused on the need of training legal actors, taking into account their own legal cultures and contexts, to reinforce the principle of justice and fairness worldwide. She then reflected on the legacy of the ICTY, recognising the impact of the Tribunal’s jurisprudence and capacity to end the culture of impunity; but bearing in mind the negative effects created by the length of trials, the weakness of the outreach programme and the inability of judges to agree on a standard form of procedure.
Finally, Toby Cadman analysed the challenges faced by the Bosnian War Crimes Chambers and the lessons learnt from the failures of the International Crimes Tribunal of Bangladesh to provide justice according to international standards, which he described as a “wasted opportunity”.
The event was followed with a round of questions from the audience focusing on the possibilities to pursue justice in the Sri Lankan, Colombian and Syrian post-conflicts. We are glad to confirm that the event was a huge success. We are extremely grateful to all of those who attended to the panel discussion and accompanied us to celebrate our second anniversary. Our members had the privilege of meeting and learning from some of the main representatives of the international civil society and institutions devoted to the legal defence of human rights.