University of Idaho War Don Don Reflection Paper


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WAR DON DON portrays Sierra Leoneans with different and conflicted perspectives on the Special Court for Sierra Leone. Does an institution have to be popular to be successful? How should an international criminal tribunal measure its own success?During the United Nations Radio interview in WAR DON DON, Wayne Jordash, Sesay’s defense lawyer, argued that the message Sesay’s sentence sends to other rebel leaders is that there is no incentive to disarm if they will inevitably spend the rest of their lives in prison. Rebutting this claim, Prosecutor Stephen Rapp says the message of Sesay’s punishment is: do not commit crimes in the first place. Discuss the idea of deterrence in international criminal law. Which perspective do you find more persuasive and why?Sierra Leone had a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) that operated at the same time as the trials at the SCSL. The mandate of the TRC was to “create an impartial historical record of violations and abuses of human rights… to address impunity, to respond to the needs of the victims, to promote healing and reconciliation and to prevent a repetition of the violations and abuses suffered.” One of the challenges of post-conflict reconstruction is to encourage different transitional justice mechanisms to work in concert with one another. What are some of the tensions that might arise between a criminal trial and a truth commission? What are some of the ways they might compliment each other.