Author Archives: Phil Clark

Justice without Lawyers: Rwanda’s Gacaca Courts phenomenon

Phil

In June 2012, Rwanda completed the most comprehensive post-conflict justice programme attempted anywhere in the world. Over the last decade, 11,000 community-based Gacaca courts, overseen by locally-elected judges and barring any participation by lawyers, have prosecuted around 400,000 suspected perpetrators of the 1994 genocide. Nearly every Rwandan adult has participated in Gacaca in some way,…

An Arab Spring south of the Sahara?

Phil Clark discusses why the Arab Spring has so far failed to spread south of the Sahara – but suggests there are still good reasons why some African leaders should be looking over their shoulder. When the so-called Jasmine Revolution rolled eastward from Tunisia to Libya and Egypt in early 2011, many commentators – not…

Do war crimes trials really help victims?

Editor’s note: Phil Clark is a lecturer in comparative and international politics at SOAS, University of London, and co-founder of Oxford Transitional Justice Research. The long overdue verdict in the case of the former Liberian President Charles Taylor will be widely celebrated as a critical achievement for international criminal law. Taylor has been on trial at the special court for…

State Impunity in Central Africa

Phil Clark has written an op-ed piece for the New York Times titled “State Impunity in Central Africa.” The piece which was published on 1 April 2012, discusses how the international community can address crimes committed by rebel leaders such as Joseph Kony of Uganda or Thomas Lubanga of Democratic Republic of Congo. The article…