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Special Court for Sierra Leone

The Special Court for Sierra Leone was set up jointly by the Government of Sierra Leone and the United Nations. It is mandated to try those who bear the greatest responsibility for serious violations of international humanitarian law and Sierra Leonean law committed in the territory of Sierra Leone since 30 November 1996. Currently, eleven persons associated with all three of the country’s former warring factions stand indicted by the Special Court.

Because of the importance of the mission with which the Special Court for Sierra Leone has been invested, the Center established a permanent monitoring program in Freetown in June 2004. We believe that only an ongoing presence and attendance at trials, day in and day out, will enable us to report on and evaluate the work of the Special Court in a comprehensive manner. This program, in cooperation with the Human Rights Center, U.C. Berkeley, and the International Center for Transitional Justice, monitors the trials and Special Court’s Outreach and Witness Programs.

Our monitors have attended daily court sessions since the first trial began. Their weekly reports, in conjunction with interim and thematic reports, cover the initial phase of the trials. Our website is updated with their information on a regular basis. Apart from the commitment and dedication of the monitors, acknowledgments are also due to the International Center for Transitional Justice with whom we share information and cooperate on issues regarding the Special Court, to our partners at the Human Rights Center at UC Berkeley, and to the Wang Family Foundation for their ongoing support of this project.

Interim Analyses and Thematic Reports

The Special Court for Sierra Leone trial monitors and other researchers periodically produce special reports and papers providing thematically coherent, in-depth analysis on Sierra Leone. All past reports can be browsed and downloaded through the Special Reports Archive.


Interim Analyses:


Thematic Reports:














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Court Monitors, past and present:

Penelope Van Tuyl
Jennifer Easterday
Kiran Grewal
Sara Kendall
Kyra Sanin
Michelle Staggs
Anna Stirnemann
Alison Thompson
Thea Wauters Thyness
Radha Webley

KRT Trial Monitor

This week hearings were repeatedly delayed due to the consistent refusal of Witness Sos Kamry, the c

This week the Trial Chamber successfully heard two witnesses and one Civil Party in the Case 002/02

This week the Trial Chamber heard from a new fact Witness on the Au Kanseng Security Center and conc

This week the Trial Chamber heard from the fourth Expert Witness to appear in Case 002/02; anthropol

In September 2013, the East-West Center’s collaborative project with the WSD HANDA Center for Human