A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

Liberia truth commission to call for creation of war crimes court

[JURIST] Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) [official website; JURIST news archive] member John Stewart said Saturday that the commission will recommend the creation of a special tribunal to hear cases against those suspected of war crimes during the the country's 1989-2003 civil war. The TRC, which was established [TRC mandate text] by the peace accord that ended the 14-year civil war, was created to document the war and investigate human rights violations, but has been criticized [JURIST report] for lacking the authority to hold violators accountable. Last week, the TRC began its final stage of taking public testimony [VOA report] from war crimes victims and suspects. The hearings will resume on Monday, with a special session [New Liberian report] dedicated to victims with special needs and other vulnerable groups. The TRC is scheduled to conclude its work by June 2009.

The TRC held its first public session [JURIST report] in January 2008. It began its work in October 2006, but later stalled [JURIST reports] in June 2007 for lack of funding. Earlier this month, the son of former Liberian president Charles Taylor [JURIST news archive] was sentenced last week [DOJ press release; JURIST report] to a 97-year jail term in the US by the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida [official website] for committing torture in Liberia. Charles Arthur Emmanuel, was found guilty by a jury in October 2008 on charges [JURIST reports] that he was the head of a paramilitary group which tortured and killed opponents during the presidency of Emmanuel's father.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.