The tribunal established to prosecute those most responsible for atrocities committed during Sierra Leone’s 10-year civil war will soon deliver its final judgment and become the first international criminal tribunal to go out of business.
The court’s president, Justice Shireen Avis Fisher, told the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday that because of its vision the tribunal not only succeeded in prosecuting and convicting the worst perpetrators of killings, systematic mutilation and other atrocities in Sierra Leone but it has become a model for bringing justice.
The court was unique when it was established in 2002. Unlike the war crimes tribunals for Yugoslavia and Rwanda, which are entirely run by the United Nations with an international staff, it was set up jointly by the U.N. and the Sierra Leone government with a mix of local and international prosecutors and judges.
The council, in a presidential statement, commended the Special Court for Sierra Leone for its important contribution to international criminal justice, ending impunity, and strengthening stability in Sierra Leone and the neighboring West African region.