Power or Justice? The Prosecution of Charles Taylor

Power or Justice? The Prosecution of Charles Taylor

Friday, August 21, 2012 | King Hall Room 2304 | 12:00 PM

Christopher Mahony, Deputy Director, Auckland University’s New Zealand Centre for Human Rights Law, Policy and Practice

On April 26, 2012, the Special Court for Sierra Leone found former Liberian President Charles Taylor guilty of aiding and abetting war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sierra Leone. Often cited as a “new model” for post conflict justice, the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) has been lauded as an international and domestic hybrid. Placing the creation of the SCSL in geo-political and historical context illuminates external intentions outside the parameters of orthodox transitional justice narratives. In this presentation, Mr. Mahony will discuss how politics compromised the court’s independence and the relationship between the breadth of state participation in tribunal design and the vulnerability of international crimes case selection to political manipulation.

Chris Mahony is Deputy Director of Auckland University’s New Zealand Centre for Human Rights Law, Policy and Practice and doctoral candidate at Keble College, Oxford University, where he completed his Masters in African Studies. He has worked at the Special Court for Sierra Leone, the Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and has advised the U.S Department of State, the International Centre for Transitional Justice, and the Institute for Security Studies on justice sector reform and the International Criminal Court.