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Research Report

SECURING THE RULE OF LAW:: Assessing International Strategies for Post-Conflict Criminal Justice

Copyright Date: Nov. 1, 2005
Pages: 23

Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. None)
  2. (pp. None)
  3. (pp. i-iii)
  4. (pp. 1-2)

    The past dozen years have seen a proliferation of international efforts to strengthen national criminal justice systems in post-conflict countries. Part of the burgeoning of discourses and programs aimed at strengthening the rule of law, these efforts are based on the principle that the restoration of law and order in the immediate aftermath of conflict is critical for building a durable peace.¹ Reform initiatives have involved a multitude of actors, including United Nations (UN) departments and agencies, multilateral organizations, international financial institutions, donor governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the private sector, and they have been implemented under an equally wide...

  5. (pp. 2-6)

    Building on nearly two decades of experience in strengthening national police forces, justice systems and other areas of criminal justice, international actors have recently introduced two notable innovations in criminal justice reform: the Model Transitional Codes and “justice packages.” The wide range of actors involved in these initiatives may be an innovation in itself, considering the more limited interest in these issues until recent years.

    Before engaging in a discussion on the innovations, followed by deficiencies, of criminal justice reform, a word must be said about the legal standards and traditions from which the police, judges, prosecutors, defense lawyers and...

  6. (pp. 6-13)

    While the Model Codes and “justice packages” are important developments in strengthening national criminal justice systems in post-conflict contexts, a number of critical areas of criminal justice reform have been persistently overlooked, avoided or underexplored by international actors. As a pattern, throughout the past fifteen years reform of the police forces has been given considerable attention in peace operations while laws, courts, prosecution, defense, judges and prisons remained more or less in states of disrepair. Without intensified research, investment and programming in these areas, restoring the rule of law may, despite recent innovations, simply face the same pitfalls as in...

  7. (pp. 13-16)

    International efforts to secure the rule of law in the aftermath of conflict are undergoing a period of significant activity, experimentation and innovation. From the Model Transitional Codes to fill gaps in legal systems to “justice packages” for rapid response to post-conflict situations, from NGO programs to provide paralegals and defenders to private sector involvement in restoring order, these initiatives seek to base criminal justice reform fully on past experiences and emerging lessons.

    However, donor approaches have hitherto been marked by a lack of coordination and coherence, with a panoply of actors working on certain sectors of their choice, at...

  8. (pp. 17-17)