It is now clear to everybody that international criminal prosecution will be prominent — Anna Myriam Roccatello
Is there any countries whose experience is most relevant for Ukraine as far as transitional justice is concerned?
Anna Myriam Roccatello, Deputy Executive Director and director of programs of the International Centre for Transitional Justice answered this question due to conversation with the host Andriy Kulykov at English-speaking podkast Ukraine Calling on Hromadske Radio.
«We can take certain elements of a variety of different models. It is now clear to everybody that international criminal prosecution will be prominent. And therefore, you can take examples from the proceedings at the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, or for Rwanda, and take stock and analyse what was positive and what didn’t work well. You can take lessons and considerations from hybrid tribunals. Tribunals that were under the auspices of the international community but with a strong presence of national officials. But at the same time, you can also look at the few examples of processes that were implemented after an international war. For example, the tribunal that was created in Bangladesh after the occupation, or the aggression of Pakistan. And there are several lessons that need to be considered. For example, the indiscriminate application of the death penalty, for which I will not be necessarily in favor. And certain problematic aspects of the legal proceedings which are very relevant in Ukraine because of the possibility to try defendants in absentia, which is possible in Ukraine, right? So, there are elements that you can take from different models».
«I know that many Ukrainians would raise eyebrows when I speak about truth commissions and commissions of inquiry. I still believe that internationally, if not nationally, it’s important at some point to have such a process because this conflict (war — editor.), this aggression has certainly strengthened the sense of unity and the national solidarity, Ukraine is a country that is pluralistic. It has different ethnic groups, and groups that feel they have a certain different identity, even though at this moment they recognise and they endorse the need to be united in the territory and under the flag of Ukraine. But, their individuality, their specificity, their cultural rights need to be respected. This is an area that I have several concerns about at the moment. For example, taking lessons from certain attempts to have an International Truth Commission that was rarely successful and why it was not successful, and what we can do to make it possible at some point. There’s a need to absorb, analyse, study everything possible about reparation programs and post-conflict restructuring. There you have a wealth of models, and whether they are identified as transitional justice or not is irrelevant, but I think Ukrainians need to get their act together and manage expectations and really determine what are the priorities for reparation. Is it to help the victims, to rebuild our society? And/or, to punish aggression? These are very different goals. And it is clear, I think, what should be the most important».
You may read the full conversation here: Transitional justice: to help victims and to rebuild society or just to punish murderers? Anna Myriam Roccatello