Policy and Research Papers
Local perspectives: foreign aid to the justice sector
The meaningful participation of beneficiaries in aid programmes directed to human rights reform is crucial to their success. Their views on ways to improve them deserve serious attention. In interviews with beneficiaries in four countries we were told that aid for reform has had an impact. In the justice sector (the focus of our study) foreign
aid has facilitated constitutional development and legislative reforms and helped expand civil society and transform the justice system. Aid programmes have helped introduce human rights concepts into public consciousness and public institutions in societies where such notions were once seen as subversive.
We were also told that human rights assistance can be wasteful and even do harm. Badly conceived and implemented programmes have sheltered repressive regimes from scrutiny, wasted vital resources and distorted domestic institutions. Donors sometimes promote inappropriate models and put their foreign policy interests before human rights. They can be unreliable partners, subject to quick fixes and too much attention on “exit strategies”. Success depends on many factors, not least paying more attention to local perspectives. This report sets out some of the main issues. It offers signposts that we hope will be useful to both donors and beneficiaries looking for ways
to strengthen the impact of human rights assistance.
Hybrid Tribunals & the Rule of Law: Notes from Bosnia & Herzegovina & Cambodia
Following the establishment of the international ad hoc tribunals, the International Criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda (ICTY and ICTR respectively), a new model of justice administration emerged at the end of the 1990s through the development of hybrid or internationalised courts. Hybrid tribunals are conceived as a mixture of international and domestic law and staff, as a way to provide the necessary resources and guarantees for justice closer to those whose work matters to most. This paper looks at the two most recent tribunals, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) and the War Crimes Chamber in the State Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina (WCC) and examines their practice related to the expectations that hybrid tribunals have raised in terms of peacebuilding. Based on the authors’ fieldwork in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Cambodia, this paper focuses particularly on the tribunals’ impact on the rebuilding of the rule of law, the strengthening of public institutions in the countries in which they operate and the perception of the public of their work. It considers the experience of the tribunals so far, problems and ongoing challenges in order to draw some lessons which can impact both their future work and other potential tribunals in post-‐conflict settings.