Amnesty, the Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Special Court for Sierra Leone

Schabas, William A. (2004) Amnesty, the Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Special Court for Sierra Leone. U.C. Davis Journal of International Law & Policy, 11 . pp. 145-169. ISSN 1080-6687

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Abstract

...It was characterized by a stunning indifference of combat-ants on all sides to the laws and customs of war, the laws of humanity, and the dictates of the public conscience. ... The Secretary-General conceded that "amnesty is an accepted legal concept and a gesture of peace and reconciliation at the end of a civil war or an internal armed conflict," but recalled that "the United Nations has consistently maintained the position that amnesty cannot be granted in respect of international crimes, such as genocide, crimes against humanity or other serious violations of international humanitarian law. ... The Special Court ruled that the amnesty in the Lome Agreement, to the extent that it purported to cover crimes against humanity and war crimes, was contrary to customary international law, or at the very least, to "crystallizing" or "emerging" customary international law. ... According to the Appeals Chamber, then, shouldn't the United Nations also be condemned for violating customary international law by in effect guaranteeing impunity for all pre-November 1996 offences as well as for all of those who do not meet the exalted status of "those who bear the greatest responsibility"? ...

Item Type:Article
Research Areas:Middlesex University Schools and Centres > School of Law > Law and Politics
ID Code:7843
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Deposited On:02 May 2011 08:08
Last Modified:07 Oct 2013 06:18

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