Establishing a War Crimes & Economic Crimes Court for Liberia
Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for a hearing on the proposal to establish a War Crimes & Economic Crimes Court for Liberia.
In recent years the momentum for a War Crimes & Economic Crimes Court for Liberia to help redress the wounds of the country’s civil war has increased, but its creation is far from certain despite the recommendations of the country’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2009 and continuous pressure from grassroots groups throughout Liberia. President George Manneh Weah has equivocated with regard to the court’s creation, backsliding from earlier support during his campaign for president.
For the past few decades, Liberia’s people have suffered untold human rights violations while perpetrators acted with near-complete impunity during the country’s multiple civil wars. Between 1989 and 2003, 250,000 Liberians died from the fighting, and thousands more were conscripted as child soldiers, raped, suffered loss of limb, and other traumatic experiences. Since that time, not a single war crimes trial has occurred in Liberia as part of the country’s judicial process.
The hearing will examine the legacy of Liberia’s civil wars on its people and economy, the structure and likely policy implications of a proposed War Crimes & Economic Crimes Court for Liberia, and grassroots efforts to secure rule of law in the country and meet victims’ needs.
The hearing will be virtual. Pursuant to H. Res. 965, Members of Congress and witnesses will participate remotely via Cisco WebEx. Members of the public and the media may view the hearing by live webcast on the Commission website. The hearing will also be available for viewing on the House Digital Channel service. For any questions, please contact Piero Tozzi at 202-225-3765 (for Rep. Smith) or Kimberly Stanton (for Rep. McGovern).
Member of Congress
Member of Congress
Rep. Christopher H. Smith, Co-Chair, TLHRC
Rep. James P. McGovern, Co-Chair, TLHRC
- Ysyndi Martin-Kepyei, Executive Director of the Movement for Justice in Liberia (MOJUL)
- Jerome V. Verdier, Esq, Executive Director, International Justice Group and former Chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for Liberia
- Michael Mueller, Chairman of the Global Initiative for Justice
- Dr. Alan W. White, former Chief of Investigations, Special Court for Sierra Leone
Submitted for the Record
- Ambassador George S.W. Patten Sr, Ambassador of Liberia to the United States, Statement for the Record
- Human Rights Watch, "Q&A: Justice for Civil Wars-Era Crimes in Liberia," April 1, 2019
- David Cornell and Ela Matthews, "Next Steps in Liberia’s Long Quest for Justice, 10 Years After Commission Report," Just Security, December 3, 2019
- Professor Olympia Bekou, University of Nottingham, Part 1: "Roadmap to Accountability: Overcoming barriers to Justice, Final Report," March 2021
- Professor Olympia Bekou, University of Nottingham, Part 2: "Roadmap to Accountability: Overcoming barriers to Justice, Final Report," March 2021
- Human Rights Watch, Statement on behalf of Liberian and International NGO's, "Adoption of the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review of Liberia Item 6 - Human Rights Council," March 2021
- Human Rights Watch with Liberian and Internaitonal NGO's, "Liberia Accountability," November 2, 2020
- Civitas Maxima and Global Justice and Research Project, Momentum for Justice in Liberia, April 19, 2021