April 18, 2006

HARRISONBURG—Just as attention is being focused on the United Nations-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone which recently arraigned former Liberian leader Charles Taylor on an eleven-count indictment alleging that he bore responsibility for crimes including acts of terrorism, unlawful killings, sexual and physical violence, the forced enlistment and use of child soldiers, and other war crimes, Dr. J. Peter Pham, Director of the Nelson Institute for International and Public Affairs at James Madison University, has just published the most comprehensive study to date on the tribunal.

Dr. Pham, who previously served as a diplomat in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea as well as a U.S. delegate to monitor last year’s elections in Liberia, is the author of two books, Liberia: Portrait of a Failed State (Reed Press, 2004) and Child Soldiers, Adult Interests: The Global Dimensions of the Sierra Leonean Tragedy (Nova Science Publishers, 2005), as well as number articles on the conflicts in West Africa.

The 73-page new study, “A Viable Model for International Criminal Justice: The Special Court for Sierra Leone,” appears in the current issue (volume 19, no. 1) of the New York International Law Review. It is, according to Dr. Pham, “a complete legal user’s guide to the Special Court, down to the 347 discursive notes referring to precedent and other juridical materials.”


To read Dr. Pham’s study, click here.