IPI HomePublicationsPolicy PapersSecuring the Rule of Law: Assessing International Strategies for Post-Conflict Criminal Justice

 

print print  |  share share back back

Policy Papers - November 14, 2005

Securing the Rule of Law: Assessing International Strategies for Post-Conflict Criminal Justice

Reyko Huang

 

 

The past dozen years have seen a proliferation of international efforts to strengthen national criminal justice systems in postconflict countries. Part of the burgeoning of discourses, policies, and programs

on the primacy of the rule of law in peacebuilding, 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.

The UN Secretary-General encapsulated this growing importance of the rule of law in a 2004 report, in which he also stressed the need to develop strong national criminal justice systems for the administration of justice in accordance with international standards.

Although the imperative of promptly responding to dysfunctional or collapsed justice systems is widely acknowledged, the yield of programming in this area is patchy at best.

International programs are often cited for their focus on particular institutions at the neglect of others, thus failing to take into account the inherent interdependence of the various institutions that collectively enable a criminal justice system to function. Unfortunately, as a number of countries have attested, the absence of a functioning justice system and a breakdown of the rule of law can prolong periods of instability and threaten the prospects for peace. In reviewing current innovations as well as deficiencies in postconflict criminal justice reform policy and practice, this report emphasizes the need for more coherent, comprehensive approaches on the part of international actors.

The Global Observatory

Research Suggests Discrimination Against Muslims in France Likely to Worsen
Recent behavioral research shows there is a basic discriminatory bias against Muslims in France.

Key Global Events to Watch in January
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.

2015: Ten Multilateral Events to Watch This Year
A list of ten events that are likely to impact international peace and security in 2015, compiled by IPI’s Francesco Mancini.

The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.

Recent Events

January 20, 2015
Mongolian Foreign Policy Between ''Two Giants''
On January 20, Mongolia’s new Foreign Minister Purevsuren Lundeg visited the IPI Vienna office and gave an informal briefing on Mongolia’s contemporary foreign policy priorities and challenges.

January 20, 2015
Dutch FM Koenders: ''The Security Council Has to Change''
Speaking to an overflow IPI audience on January 20th, Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders acknowledged how far the United Nations has come since its inception 70 years ago but said that the organization still “has a lot of growing up to do.”

December 15, 2014
Fathi: Iran and the Struggle Between Hardliners and Reformers
Discussing her new book The Lonely War: One Woman’s Account of the Struggle for Modern Iran at IPI on December 15th, author Nazila Fathi said that 35 years after the revolution, Iran is divided between hardliners and a large moderate middle class, but admitted that it is still unclear which of the two sides will gain the upper hand.

View More