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African Journal on Conflict Resolution

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The proposed hybrid court for South Sudan: Moving South Sudan and the African Union to action against impunity

Owiso Owiso

Abstract


The 2015 Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan provides quite ambitiously and laudably for the creation of the Hybrid Court for South Sudan under the auspices of the African Union. The article is an extract from the author’s 2016 LL.M. dissertation submitted to the University of Pretoria. It critically examines the salient features of the proposed court with the aim of testing the court’s ability to effectively address historical grievances and injustices in South Sudan. In so doing, the article draws lessons from similar mechanisms in Africa and beyond. It also interrogates the role of the African Union and South Sudan in operationalising this court. It reveals strengths as well as weaknesses in the proposed design of the court as well as in the ability of the African Union and South Sudan to fulfil their obligations. Despite  these weaknesses, the article argues that by harnessing the strengths identified and learning from lessons from across the continent, the African Union (AU) and South Sudan can overcome the anticipated challenges and operationalise a hybrid court which will effectively deliver sustainable justice to the victims of international crimes committed during the South Sudan civil war.

Keywords: South Sudan, African Union, Hybrid Court, international crimes, human rights, transitional justice




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