The guilty verdict by the judges of the Special Court for Sierra Leone against Liberia’s former president Charles Taylor is important for both Africa and the international community. The unanimous finding by the Special Court for Sierra Leone that Liberia’s former President Charles Taylor is guilty of aiding and abetting and planning war crimes and crimes against humanity during the civil war in Sierra Leone, constitutes the first conviction of a former head of state before an international tribunal since the conviction of Karl Doenitz (the 23-day day President following Hitler’s suicide) at the Nuremberg Tribunal in 1946. This is a significant achievement for international criminal justice.
This ruling is of obvious interest for the ‘Human Rights’ topic of the Global Issues paper in terms of illustrating both the importance on of rights on the international stage but also the fact that the human rights regime is enforceable. Nonetheless, the case has not been without controversy since its inception.So has international justice been vindicated?
To follow up on the story here are a few articles:
Telegraph: Charles Taylor found guilty of ‘aiding and abetting’ war crimes
Guardian: Charles Taylor is guilty – but what’s the verdict on international justice?