Whose justice in Sierra Leone? Power and justice in the countryside

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This paper discusses the relationship between security and justice within Sierra Leone following the war that ended in 2002. The country became synonymous with a series of security measures known as security sector reform, but within this set of policies justice was largely missing until the later stages. At the same time, the international community established, with mixed results, a Special Court for Sierra Leone. The outcome of this has been relatively little political buy-in to justice as a peacebuilding mechanism, with almost no current budgetary allocation to the justice sector itself. International control over the Special Court and failure to address local justice systems has failed to fully address core justice issues and grievances that constituted key conflict drivers. The failure to address the resilient local systems and their relationship to political structures raises questions about the use of international courts of justice and also the role that justice interventions can play in long-term conflict prevention.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-53
Number of pages15
JournalThe Air & Space Power Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015


  • Sierra Leone
  • justice
  • intervention
  • human rights

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