This presentation gives a background on the theory behind the concept Security Sector Reform, as well as an overview of the international efforts within SSR today.
What are the "politics of SSR" and how could these dynamics be managed? Bgen(ret) Bernard Belondrade shares with ISSAT Community members the experience of a training workshop where this aspect was predominant in how the trainees reacted to the knowledge shared with them.
Policy and Research Papers
This paper highlights the risk of abuse faced by pretrial detainees and identifies some of the systemic factors that perpetuate torture and other ill-treatment. Research referenced in this paper is largely drawn from the fact-finding missions of former UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Manfred Nowak and his team, as well as a review of reports by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture, other relevant UN treaty bodies, and non-governmental organizations.
On any given day, some three million people are held in pretrial detention around the world. Countless millions are unnecessarily arrested and detained by law enforcement agencies annually. Those in pretrial detention are often held in conditions and subject to treatment that is far worse than that experienced by sentenced prisoners. Pretrial detainees—who have not been tried or found guilty—can languish behind bars for years. Some detainees may literally be lost in the system.
Lawyers and paralegals have a central role to play in advising, assisting, and representing individuals at the pretrial stage of the criminal process.
This paper looks at the role of lawyers and paralegals in the pre-trial process and provides recommendations for governments and for legal aid organisations.
A Literature Review and Recommendations for Health Professionals.
This paper reports on a review of published and grey literature on health condi- tions and health services in pretrial detention in developing and transitional countries. This paper takes as its point of departure that the negative health impacts of excessive pretrial detention are an important reason to pursue pretrial justice reform. Problems identified in the literature are linked both to inadequate health services and to the health impact of cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of detainees and failure of the state to ensure humane living conditions and protection from violence. Together these con- stitute pervasive and often heinous human rights abuses among people, not convicted of any crime, who are entirely in the control of the state.
Institutional assessment is often considered to be a first step in the reform or development of institutions. It involves an analysis of various components and stakeholders in an institutional setting and provides a means of identifying the current situation, priority areas for intervention and the various constraints/barriers that could undermine reform efforts. Assessments of this nature usually examine both the overall institutional framework (the rules of the game) and the organisations operating within this institutional context (the players).
This report collates information, guidelines and case study material. Not all of the documents included below directly use the term ‘institutional assessment’, but the processes described, variously referred to as reviews, studies and assessments, broadly pertain to the definition of institutional assessment.
The report includes coverage of a number of donor designed frameworks for assessing the policing and justice sector. According to much of the general academic and policy literature on SSAJ programmes, substantial reform of the police force is only possible when reform of the justice system is administered at the same time. However, whilst the underlying principles for the institutional assessment of policing and justice may be similar, the specific frameworks espoused by donors appear to tackle the institutional assessment of policing and justice separately.
Willing and Able? Challenges to Security Sector Reform in Weak Post-war States – Insights from the Central African Republic
Security sector reform (SSR) is an integral part of the international community’s efforts to build peace and enhance security in weak post-war states. It has, however, proven difficult to undertake SSR in such contexts. A number of factors constitute a challenge to create security forces that are able to provide security to the population.
Based on previous research, this report highlights some of the challenges to SSR in weak post-war states. Through an analysis of the SSR process in the Central African Republic, this study shows that informal power structures, a volatile security situation and failure to understand how SSR is influenced by other political processes, negatively impact on the prospect for successful implementation of reforms. Furthermore, this study demonstrates that weak capacity and lack of political will on behalf of the national government, is a challenge to local ownership and sustainable reforms. Despite a holistic approach to reforms aiming to improve both the capacity of the security forces and to increase democratic control of the security institutions, insufficient international engagement, scarce resources, lack of strategic direction and inadequate donor coordination have limited the prospect for implementation of reforms.
In the year since the revolution, Tunisia has achieved what no other Arab Spring country has managed: peaceful transition to democratic rule through national elections widely viewed to be free and fair. The legacy of the previous regime, however, remains. Dr. Querine Hanlon assesses the prospects for Security Sector Reform (SSR) in Tunisia and concludes that Tunisia’s new government faces major challenges dismantling and reorienting the mandate and institutional culture of Tunisia’s labyrinth of security institutions. Serious SSR will be critical for building trust in the new governments and its security institutions and essential if Tunisia’s transition to democratic rule is to succeed in the long term.
Informal Conclusions of the Chair: High Level Panel on the Challenges and Opportunities for Security Sector Reform (SSR) in East Africa
The overall purpose of the High Level Panel (October 2nd-3rd 2012) was to take stock of the challenges when implementing security and justice reforms at a national level; to identify lessons that could be applied to other SSR processes in the Eastern African region; and to look at what role regional and international actors could optimally have in SSR initiatives. The High Level Panel brought together over 200 SSR policy makers and practitioners to unpack the key issues faced by both those implementing and leading SSR. Those attending the event were experts responsible for leading and implementing processes in Burundi, Somalia and South Sudan, as well as key donors, regional and multilateral organisations and representatives from the African Security Sector Network and other civil society organisations.
This report reflects the informal conclusions drawn from the selected country-case studies as well as thematic debates at the High-Level Panel.
This paper describes and explains the evolution of gendarmerie-type forces, i.e. police forces with a military status, over the past three decades. It focuses on their institutional features and functions, including material and human resources, and uses case studies from Europe, the Middle East and North Africa to illustrate these characteristics in different contexts. The overall development of gendarmeries has been a somewhat paradoxical one. On the one hand, most of these forces have witnessed a considerable expansion, and come to assume an increasingly prominent role in addressing many of the currently most important security challenges, ranging from border control and counterterrorism to public order tasks in international peace operations. On the other hand, there has also been a trend towards the demilitarization of gendarmeries, which in some European countries has ultimately led to their dissolution and integration into the civilian police. The paper suggests an explanation of these seemingly contradictory developments with reference to two broad – and at least partly opposing – trends: the convergence of internal and external security agendas, which to a large extent is a post-Cold War phenomenon; and the demilitarization of internal security, which is a more long-term historical trend and part of the more general democratization process. Based on this analysis, the paper predicts that in the long run gendarmeries are likely to be further demilitarized, eventually losing their formal military status, although in the context of international peace operations militarized gendarmerie forces are expected to play an increasingly significant part.