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  • Cited by 5
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
January 2014
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Book description

The Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) is the third modern international criminal tribunal supported by the United Nations and the first to be situated where the crimes were committed. This timely, important and comprehensive book is the first to critically assess the impact and legacy of the SCSL for Africa and international criminal law. Contributors include leading scholars and respected practitioners with inside knowledge of the tribunal, who analyze cutting-edge and controversial issues with significant implications for international criminal law and transitional justice. These include joint criminal enterprise; forced marriage; enlisting and using child soldiers; attacks against United Nations peacekeepers; the tension between truth commissions and criminal trials in the first country to simultaneously have the two; and the questions of whether it is permissible under international law for states to unilaterally confer blanket amnesties to local perpetrators of universally condemned international crimes.


‘This volume towers above everything - and anything - that, to date, has been written about the Special Court for Sierra Leone. The breadth is singular: the book covers all aspects of the institution. The work is deeply interdisciplinary, harnessing a multiplicity of perspectives in a manner that unpacks the Special Court as a legal, social, and political institution. The quality is extraordinary. Each chapter is elegantly written; each contribution is so self-aware that the sum of the book well exceeds its parts. Charles Jalloh, whose nimble hands assembled this collection and whose energy electrified it, leaves the international community with an indispensable resource about the Special Court as well as a vibrant touchstone for transitional justice generally.’

Mark A. Drumbl - Class of 1975 Alumni Professor of Law, and Director, Transnational Law Institute, Washington and Lee University

‘In this fundamental work, Professor Charles Jalloh, a Sierra Leonean-Canadian scholar who first distinguished himself as an international criminal lawyer in the Charles Taylor Trial at the Sierra Leone Special Court, has assembled a stellar group of experts to comprehensively assess the Court’s crucial legacy to Africa and international criminal justice. Covering the full gamut of substantive legal issues of enduring significance to the work of the International Criminal Court and other tribunals charged with the responsibility to prosecute international crimes … this outstanding volume is an enormous contribution to the international criminal law and transitional justice literature. This significant achievement of the contributing scholars and the editor, who has quickly become a renowned commentator on issues relating to international justice in Africa, is a must-read …’

Fatou Bensouda - Prosecutor, International Criminal Court

‘Over the course of a decade, the Special Court for Sierra Leone demonstrated that a national-international partnership may hold to account persons most responsible for wartime atrocities. Its legacy includes many milestones: the first prosecutions for forced marriage and child soldier recruitment; the first inclusion of a Defense Office within the organs of the Court; and the first conviction since Nuremberg of a former head of state. In this remarkable volume, the foremost experts on the Court analyze all this and more. Their essays examine the past work of the Court with an eye toward the future - toward lessons that may enhance future efforts at accountability and redress. The result is a vade mecum for all who work for global justice.’

Diane Marie Amann - Emily and Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law, University of Georgia

‘This edited book fills [a] huge gap in the literature. By critically but fairly analyzing the SCSL’s impact, in this volume unprecedented in its size, scope and depth, Professor Charles Jalloh and the many other esteemed contributors … have immensely enriched the global conversation about the legacy of international criminal tribunals. It is a path-breaking work that sets a new benchmark for future assessments of the contributions of these courts to the advancement of the principle of individual criminal responsibility at the international level and the architecture of modern international criminal law.’

Hassan B. Jallow - Chief Prosecutor, United Nations Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals and International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and former Judge, Appeals Chamber, Special Court for Sierra Leone

‘Professor Charles Jalloh, who edited this book, is one of the most prominent scholars to have studied the Special Court for Sierra Leone. The authors represent a cross section of specialists, including many who, like Professor Jalloh, have worked at the Court. There is an especially important introductory essay by one of the Court’s Prosecutors, Stephen Rapp. The contributions have been carefully organized and edited. They cover many features of the institution in a thorough, professional and often exhaustive manner. This book immediately becomes the authoritative reference on the Special Court. There simply is nothing else remotely comparable on the subject. It is and is likely to remain very much the last word on the subject of this fascinating and unprecedented institution.’

William A. Schabas - Middlesex University, Leiden University, and Emeritus Professor of Human Rights Law, National University of Ireland, Galway

'This book, a collection of essays on the legacy of the SCSL edited by Charles Chernor Jalloh, is an essential contribution to the study of contemporary international criminal justice. It contains 36 essays, divided into eight parts, which are briefly introduced into two main sections. The first section relates to the legacy of the SCSL on substantive international criminal law and the second section addresses the Court’s legacy on institutional matters … Jalloh’s book provides an excellent analysis on many aspects of the SCSL. … This book fills a void in the doctrine of international criminal law.'

Moussa Bienvenu Haba Source: Journal of International Criminal Justice

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