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NPWJ Launches Conflict Mapping Report and Lawyers' Guide to the Special Court

Freetown, 09 March 2004

No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) today launches two major publications, the Lawyers’ Guide to the Special Court for Sierra Leone and the Conflict Mapping Report. Both publications promote accountability in Sierra Leone and the ability of Sierra Leoneans to address violations of human rights and humanitarian law.

The NPWJ Lawyers’ Guide to the Special Court is a handbook for lawyers and others interested in technical information about the Court and its proceedings. “If you have a question about the Court, there is now a book that gives you a full and accurate answer. With this book, more people will understand the Court and its proceedings.” The Lawyers’ Guide to the Special Court was undertaken as part of NPWJ’s Legal Profession Program in Sierra Leone, and was prepared thanks to contributions from a team of people, including Sierra Leonean and foreign legal experts. Download the draft Guide for review here

The NPWJ Conflict Mapping Report reconstructs events as they unfolded during the decade-long conflict in Sierra Leone. Then, by overlaying this information with order of battle and command structures of the various armed forces, the report identifies policies for systematic and massive violations of the laws of war. The clear and broad picture of the conflict in this report also allows the reader to ascertain the role of those who bear the greatest responsibility for those policies. Download the executive summary here

The information for the Conflict Mapping Report was conducted by national human rights workers or “Conflict Mapping Recorders”, trained and supervised by NPWJ as part of its Conflict Mapping Program. The work of the Conflict Mapping Recorders, in communities and villages throughout the country, involved the scrupulous selection and debriefing of selected individuals whose profession, role in their community or in the forces involved in the conflict, placed them in a position to follow events as they happened. Over a period of seven months, 136 Conflict Mapping Recorders gathered information in almost all the chiefdoms of the country, interviewing 401 key persons and providing over 12,000 pages of statements, which, once analysed, form the basis for the Conflict Mapping Report.

No Peace Without Justice is a international non-governmental organisation working for a fair, effective and independent international criminal justice system to combat impunity for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

NPWJ’s involvement in Sierra Leone began with the secondment of NPWJ experts in international criminal law to the Government of Sierra Leone during the negotiations for the establishment of the Special Court for Sierra Leone as part of NPWJ’s Judicial Assistance Program.

NPWJ then expanded its activities in Sierra Leone and worked in collaboration and with the assistance of many Sierra Leoneans across the country, through its Legal Profession, Outreach and Conflict Mapping Programs.