Today, July 17, the world celebrates International Justice Day, designated two years ago by the states parties to the International Criminal Court (ICC). ICTJ joins our friends and partners around the world to applaud the significant achievements made in seeking accountability for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. On this day, ICTJ recalls the Rome Statute of the ICC, which states the imperative to end impunity for crimes that “shock the conscience of humanity.”
But when repressive powers finally cede to demands for justice, avenues for accountability must not be restricted to the confines of a courtroom. Criminal trials are critical, but are part of a broader framework required to reckon with the past and re-establish civic trust. True accountability extends to the right to truth, justice, reparations, and the reform of key state institutions.
To promote International Justice Day, ICTJ is pleased to present our multimedia campaign “No Accountability, No Dignity.”
The campaign includes an interactive online gallery
with a mosaic of reflections by activists and public figures from across the world, highlighting the necessity of a holistic, integrated approach to accountability in the aftermath of massive human rights abuses.
We are also proud to launch “The Case for Justice”
video project as part of this campaign. The film of the same title makes the case for the critical role transitional justice plays in today’s world, presenting lessons from Egypt, Colombia, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and other countries with legacies of violence and repression.
The film is accompanied by six short videos
providing a closer look at case countries and some elements of the debate on transitional justice. I invite you to watch these videos, comment and share them with your friends and networks.
Our work with societies confronting deep scars of mass atrocity or repression has shown us that stable, enduring peace cannot be achieved without addressing the demands for justice, a notion captured by Eduardo Gonzalez, director of ICTJ’s Truth and Memory Program:
“The promise of transitional justice is that peace is going to be more than the cessation of hostilities, that the causes of war are going to be squarely faced and squarely dealt with. Transitional measures hold a promise of authentic sustainable democracy and sustainable peace.”
This message is today communicated in opinion pieces by ICTJ experts published in global news outlets, including a feature
by ICTJ Vice President Paul Seils.
I invite you to join ICTJ as we celebrate the International Justice Day and the global struggle for justice, accountability, and dignity.
President, International Center for Transitional Justice