Virtual Tribunal of the Special Court for Sierra Leone

Joint Project between UC Berkeley War Crimes Studies Center and Department of Computer Science

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About War Crimes Studies Center

History of the Center

Founded in December 2000 at the University of California at Berkeley through a generous grant from the Wang Family Foundation, the Berkeley War Crimes Studies Center (WCSC) houses an archive of World War II war crimes trials and other materials relating to subsequent international and national war crimes tribunals.

It also supports and analyzes the work of current tribunals, including the International Tribunal for Rwanda, the Indonesian Ad Hoc Tribunals, the U.N. Serious Crimes Panel in Dili, East Timor, the gacaca courts in Rwanda, and the Sierra Leone Special Court. Its activities include trial monitoring, judicial training, and the preparation of reports and analyses. In addition to its trial monitoring project in Sierra Leone that commenced in June 2004, the Center is currently developing a regional monitoring program for the new Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC). This program will include trial monitors from eight countries in the region as well as from the WCSC. Since 2003 the center has worked with the Indonesian Supreme Court in developing and implementing a training program for judges, prosecutors, and investigators in the Indonesian Human Rights Courts. In 2005, eleven Supreme Court Justices attended an international humanitarian law workshop co-sponsored by the WCSC and the East West Center (EWC), Honolulu. In 2006, the WCSC and EWC organized a "training the trainers" workshop for Indonesian Human Rights Court judges and prosecutors in Jakarta and participated in regional training workshops in Makassar.

As part of its educational mission at the University of California, Berkeley, the Center involves undergraduates and graduate students from a wide range of disciplines in its projects and activities. Since 2004 we have developed an internship program that forms part of an undergraduate, doctoral, and post-doctoral research initiative in the area of human rights, war crimes, and international justice. WCSC interns have held positions in tribunals, NGOs, and truth and reconciliation comissions in East Timor, Indonesia, Cambodia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Bosnia, and the ICTY and ICTR.

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