Emory International Law Review

Volume 30Issue 2
Theme Issue: Peace and Conflict Resolution in Syria

Overcoming the Challenges to Achieving Justice for Syria

Stephen J. Rapp | 30 Emory Int'l L. Rev. 155 (2015)

In his introduction to the themed issue on peace and conflict resolution in Syria, Stephen J. Rapp draws on his experience as Ambassador-at-Large for the Office of Global Criminal Justice of the U.S. Department of State, Prosecutor for the Special Court for Sierra Leone, and Senior Trial Attorney and Chief of Prosecutions for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, to address challenges Syrians will face in ending the conflict and achieving justice for the victims of crimes committed on all sides of the conflict. Ambassador Rapp advocates for prosecuting those responsible for the atrocities committed at the national level in third countries through the application of universal jurisdiction.

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Social Media and Conflict Mapping in Syria: Implications for Peacemaking, International Criminal Prosecutions and for TRC Processes

Paul J. Zwier | 30 Emory Int'l L. Rev. 169 (2015)

Following the end of the civil war in Syria, the country will face a transition from its present form of government into a new transitional government. The transitional period will need to provide healing and reconciliation between the parties as well as deal with the atrocities committed by all sides of the conflict. In his article, Professor Zwier reviews five options for dealing with atrocities committed and argues for adopting a mix of formal judicial proceedings and an informal mediation process. The article reviews the impact and role that social media postings and conflict mapping projects will have on future prosecutions by providing the proof needed for assessing an individual’s criminal responsibility in seeking justice for past criminal wrongdoing and providing reconciliation between parties at an informal local level.

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Inclusion to Exclusion: Women in Syria

Catherine Moore & Tarsila Talarico | 30 Emory Int'l L. Rev. 213 (2015)

Women have been involved in the Syrian revolution since the start of the first protests but have thus far been excluded from formal peace negotiations. To secure lasting peace following the Syrian conflict, women must be a part of the formal negotiation process. Though Syrian women have been excluded from formal peace negotiations, their re-inclusion is possible, despite the ongoing conflict, as Syrian women are currently participating in informal conflict resolution processes. In their article, Catherine Moore and Tarsila Talarico review the role of women historically in peace processes in Rwanda and Liberia, as well as in Latin America and the Philippines. By relying on past successes of women in previous peace processes and with the support of the international and local communities, the authors argue that women can move from informal processes into formal peace negotiations in Syria and elsewhere.

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Revisiting Universal Jurisdiction: The Application of the Complementarity Principle by National Courts and Implications for Ex-Post Justice in the Syrian Civil War

Hilly Moodrick-Even Khen | 30 Emory Int'l L. Rev. 261 (2015)

After the Syrian conflict has ended, the international community will demand that the perpetrators of the heinous war crimes and crimes against humanity be held accountable. Since the International Criminal Court will likely be impeded by a Security Council veto, the concept of universal jurisdiction in its mitigated form may be the best option for prosecuting Syrian leaders responsible for the crimes committed under the jurisdictions of foreign states. The chances are high that post-conflict Syrian society would have great difficulty undertaking the legal trials of perpetrators of international core crimes in good faith. In this article, Hilly Moodrick-Even Khen argues that mitigated universal jurisdiction, dependent mainly on its subordination to the principle of complementarity, could serve as a practical tool for prosecuting those perpetrators of crimes in the courts of foreign states.

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#ISIS: The Largest Threat to World Peace Trending Now

Annalise Lekas | 30 Emory Int'l L. Rev. 313 (2015)

In this comment, Annalise Lekas urges that the international legal system must evolve to solve the largest threat to world peace, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The current system imposes strict territorial boundaries, inhibiting the armed intervention required to successfully combat terrorist organizations like ISIS. The United Nations Charter permits armed intervention in self-defense or collective self-defense and armed intervention sanctioned by the security counsel. However, Annalise Lekas argues neither mode allows States to defeat ISIS and instead, recommends that the Security Council, under its duty to maintain international peace and security, sets clear standards that allow States to combat ISIS with the force of law. First, armed intervention must be a last resort that is limited to threats involving a high severity and probability of mass atrocities. Second, armed intervention must serve a common interest—preventing gross human rights violations and safeguarding international peace and security.

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