In Focus

In this op-ed, ICTJ Vice President Paul Seils argues that the front line of justice must always be national courts and justice systems. "Citizens must see social institutions at work in their home countries, as it is there that courts can repudiate wrongdoing and reaffirm the most fundamental elements of the contract that binds a society together. It is there that having the dignity of a citizen can have its fullest meaning," writes Seils on International Justice Day.

On International Criminal Justice Day, 2014, ICTJ joins the global celebrations marking the groundbreaking establishment of the Rome Statute in 1998, which created the International Criminal Court (ICC). To mark the day, we review five contexts where national systems proved it was possible to bring perpetrators to justice where it matters the most.

The recent re-election of Colombia’s president, Juan Manuel Santos, brings hope to a country seeking to end a half-century of conflict. But, as with so many peace processes, finding a balance between creating a stable accord and acknowledging the terrible injustices that occurred during the conflict can be difficult to achieve.

Tunisia has faced many challenges since the launch of the National Dialogue on Transitional Justice two years ago, including political assassinations that rocked the process as well as a number of political blockages. Yet the Tunisian people came through a complex and challenging process and achieved important results — results that can provide the foundation to confront a long legacy of human rights abuses and pave the way towards a democratic transition built on the rule of law and trust between citizens and the state.

The first online debate hosted by the ICTJ on the role of media in transitional justice has come to a close. The debate aimed to illuminate issues around this complex relationship and was the first in a series ICTJ will host on topics on which there is no consensus in the field.

During Nepal's armed conflict, more than 13,000 people were killed and 1,300 forcibly disappeared. Today, a new government has voted to create a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, as well as a Commission of Inquiry on the Disappearance of Persons. Many victims have protested the flaws in the proposals; meanwhile, no comprehensive reparations have been provided for those left most vulnerable by conflict. In this interview with ICTJ's Santosh Sigdel, we discuss developments related to ICTJ's work in Nepal.

The need for a comprehensive reparations process was the central theme of the National War Victims’ Conference held in in May, in Kampala, Uganda.

On the Day of the African Child, ICTJ recognizes the power of education to transform society, and acknowledges children and young people as agents of societal change, especially in countries dealing with a legacy of abuse.

Recent developments in the country are challenging the taboos of publicly acknowledging sexual violence and paving the way to addressing the impact of conflict on women. Steadily, a broader conversation on a gender-sensitive approach to truth and accountability is burgeoning in Colombia, as well as on promoting women’s active participation in decision-making processes to redress victims of human rights violations.

ICTJ joins more than 100 countries and over 900 experts for the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, held this week in London.

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