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  • Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) Occasional Paper – № 13

    Transitional Justice and Security Sector Reform:

    Enabling Sustainable Peace

    Eirin Mobekk

    Geneva, November 2006

  • GENEVA CENTRE FOR THE DEMOCRATIC CONTROL OF ARMED FORCES (DCAF)

    OCCASIONAL PAPER - №.13

    Transitional Justice and Security Sector Reform:

    Enabling Sustainable Peace

    Eirin Mobekk

    Geneva, November 2006

  • About the Author

    Eirin Mobekk’s expertise lies within the areas of United Nations peace operations, security sector reform, post-conflict reconstruction and justice and reconciliation. She specialises in international policing, police and judicial reform and transitional justice. She received her doctorate at the Department of War Studies, King’s College, London. She is currently a Research Associate at the Department of Peace Studies, University of Bradford. She acts as a consultant to several governmental and non-governmental organisations. Copyright © 2006 by the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces

    ISBN 92-9222-052-7

    DCAF Occasional Papers are essays contributing to the policy dialogue on issues pertaining to the core mission of DCAF. These essays are commissioned by DCAF.

  • Table of Contents Abstract……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. i

    List of Acronyms…………………………………………………………………………………………………………. ii

    1. Transitional Justice and Security Sector Reform…………………………………………………….. 1

    1.1. Transitional Justice………………………………………………………………………………….. 1 1.2. Security Sector Reform…………………………………………………………………………….. 3 1.3. Security Sector Governance…………………………………………………………………….. 5 1.4. Crosscutting Issues……………………………………………………………………………………. 5

    2. The Legal Dimension………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 8

    2.1. Recent Developments in International Law…………………………………………….. 9 2.2. Trends and Obligations………………………………………………..………………………….. 12

    3. Prosecution…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 13

    3.1. Domestic Prosecution………………………………………………………………………………. 13

    3.1.1. Judicial Reform…………………………………………………………….…………….. 14 3.1.2. Police and Penal Reform……………………………………………..…………….. 16 3.1.3. Engendering Trust in State Institutions………………………………………. 18

    3.2. Hybrid/Mixed Courts………………………………………………………………….………………19

    3.2.1. Heightened Legitimacy and Transparency…………………………………..20 3.2.2. Capacity-building………………………………………………………………......... 22 3.2.3. Strengthening Rule of Law and Law Reform…………..…………………. 23

    3.3. Challenges of Prosecution………………………………………………………………………… 25

    3.3.1. Destabilisation…………………………………………………..……………………….. 25 3.3.2. Selectivity……………………………………………………………………………………. 26 3.3.3. Individual Guilt and Re-victimisation…………………………………………. 27 3.3.4. Witness Protection………………………………………………………………………. 28 3.3.5. Resources…………………………………………………………………………………….. 29 3.3.6. Deterrence…………………………………………………………………………………… 30

    3.4. Amnesties ― A Problematic Alternative…………………………………………………… 30

    3.4.1. (De)Stabilisation……………………………………………………………….......... 31 3.4.2. Conditional Amnesties…………………………………………………………………. 33 3.4.3. Accountability……………………………………………………………………………… 34

    3.5. Lessons Identified…………………………………………………………………………………….. 35 4. Truth-seeking: Truth Commissions……………………………………………………………………………. 37

    4.1. Truth Commissions……………………………………………………………………………………. 38

    4.2. Contentious Concepts………………………………………………………………………………. 39

    4.2.1. Truth……………………………………………………………………………………………. 39 4.2.2. Reconciliation……………………………………………………………………………… 40 4.2.3. Healing…………………………………………………………………………………………. 41

  • 4.3. Political and Legal Issues…………………………………………………………………………. 42

    4.3.1. Destabilisation and Political Will………………………………………………… 43 4.3.2. Sequencing………………………………………………………………………………….. 45 4.3.3. Due Process and Judicial Reform………………………………………………… 46 4.3.4. Acknowledgement, Accountability and Deterrence…………………… 47

    4.4. Lessons Identified…………………………………………………………………………………….. 47 5. Reconciliation and Traditional Informal Justice Mechanisms…………………………………. 49

    5.1. Traditional Informal Justice Mechanisms…………………………………………………. 49

    5.2. Challenges: In Need of Reform…………………………………………………………………. 51

    5.2.1. Human Rights………………………………………………………………………………. 51 5.2.2. Legitimacy and Accountability……………………………………………………. 52 5.2.3. Types of TIJM………………………………………………………………………………. 53

    5.3. Practical and Cultural Aspects…………………………………………………………………. 54

    5.3.1. Access to Justice…………………………………………………………………………. 54 5.3.2. Cultural Relevancy………………………………………………………………………. 55 5.3.3. Reconciliation………………………………………………………………………………. 56

    5.4. TIJM and Formal Judicial Systems……………………………………………………………. 57

    5.4.1. Attitudes and Perceptions…………………………………………………………… 57 5.4.2. Undermining Formal Systems………………………………………………………. 58

    5.5. Lessons Identified……………………………………………………………………………………… 59 6. Reparations…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 61

    6.1. Reconciliation and Accountability……………………………………………………………. 62

    6.2. Facilitating and Impeding Factors……………………………………………………………. 63

    6.2.1. Political Will……………………………………………………………………………….. 63 6.2.2. Resources…………………………………………………………………………………….. 64 6.2.3. Eligibility and Proportionality…………………………………………………….. 64 6.2.4. Differing Needs of Victims………………………………………………………….. 66

    6.3. Lessons Identified…………………………………………………………………………………….. 67

    7. Vetting and Lustration………………………………………………………………………………………………… 68

    7.1. Enhancing Institutional Reform………………………………………………………………… 69 7.2. Improving Trust………………………………………………………………………………………… 72 7.3. Due Process………………………………………………………………………………………………. 73 7.4.

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