Tomorrow the Civil Society in Sierra Leone will join numerous activists around the globe to celebrate ‘World Day for International Justice’, based on the theme “Justice and impunity: the way forward in Sierra Leone” with support from the Justice Sector Development Programme.
July 17th, commemorates the day on which the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) was adopted by the international community in 1998. The ICC is the world’s first permanent international tribunal capable of trying individuals accused of the most serious crimes of international concern, namely, genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes; when the courts in the countries in which those crimes are committed are unable or unwilling to do so.
Each year, human rights activists around the world use this day to host events and activities to promote international justice, and specifically to raise support for the ICC. This year, activists in Sierra Leone will bring attention to the work of the International Criminal Court, the Special Court and the Truth and Reconciliation (TRC) as justice mechanisms. Civil Society groups will work with justice sector institution officials to pass a proclamation marking July 17 as International Justice Day in the country, and organize group discussions within various communities and on radio across all its regions. The international and national implications of justice and impunity would be discussed, to bring out the ordinary Sierra Leonean’s perception of justice, taking into consideration the prevailing socio-economic situation.
As of 1st January 2007, 104 countries are State Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Sierra Leone signed the Rome Statute on 17 October 1998 and ratified it on 15 September 2000.The recognition of the evolving system of international justice that has emerged in the past century provides new tools of accountability for the most serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law.
“Addressing justice and impunity in Sierra Leone is a great stride towards victory for the protection of human rights, the advancement of human security, and the progress of our national legal systems”, said Mr. John Caulker, Acting National Chairman of the CSJSCG.