Hissène Habré on Trial: Mapping the Long Road to Justice

Sharon Weill, Kim Thuy Seelinger, Kerstin Carlson

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Abstract

This introductory chapter provides a background of the trial and conviction of Hissène Habré in 2015–2016, which is the most significant achievement global criminal justice has enjoyed in the past decade. The 2016 judgment of the Extraordinary African Chambers (EAC) found Habré guilty of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and torture—including several counts involving sexual violence committed by Habré's agents and Habré himself. The judicial achievement of the EAC is particularly meaningful in the current climate, where there is a ‘backlash’ against international criminal justice. The chapter then offers a brief overview of the structure and procedure of the EAC. The EAC was a hybrid tribunal applying international criminal law doctrine and governed by Senegalese procedure, ie, civil law tradition. This is why victims were able to participate as parties before the EAC, a development that many cite as critical to the capacity of international justice institutions to meaningfully address victims. The EAC Statute defined the core crimes and the penalties. Most of the rules of procedure remained undefined by the Statue, and here the Statute specified, in Article 16, that whatever is not included in the Statute shall be governed by Senegalese law.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe President on Trial : Prosecuting Hissène Habré
EditorsSharon Weill, Kim Thuy Seelinger, Kerstin Carlson
PublisherOxford University Press
Publication date2020
ISBN (Print)9780198858621
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

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