Transitional Justice in the Context of Criminal Justice and the Rule of Law

In partnership with the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union and the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), USAID’s New Justice Program is conducting a series of webinars for government officials and NGOs on transitional justice issues relevant to the Ukrainian context.

On June 9 and 16, 2021, the first series of two webinars were held on “Accountability and the Rule of Law in the Fight Against Crime in the System: Approaches to Criminal Justice Strategies in the Context of Transitional Justice.” The event’s objectives are to understand specific features of the policy of criminal justice in the conditions of a prolonged armed conflict on the territory of Ukraine and take into account the circumstances that indicate an international and non-international armed conflict. During the webinar, participants had the opportunity to analyze the prosecutorial strategies used for systemic crimes and discuss possible ways to balance the urgent need to protect the country and victims of armed conflict and the long-term need for resolution and the country’s integration completion of the conflict.

At present, the ongoing armed conflict in eastern Ukraine results in violations of the fundamental rights of the local population. The most vulnerable groups are women, children, and the elderly. This situation indicates the need to find a non-standard approach in ensuring access to justice for these citizens, namely – beyond the existing mechanisms, strategies, and legislation. The experience of other countries in similar situations of mass violations caused by armed conflict demonstrates adopting the respective policies specifically tailored to the nature and extent of such violations. Typically, these policies combine strategies to establish the truth, apply criminal justice, redress, and guarantees that this will not happen again.

Other webinars from the series on “Applying Transitional Justice Policies to Better Protect Human Rights in Armed Conflict” and “Gender-Sensitive Approach in Transitional Justice. The Role of Civil Society Organizations in Advocacy” are scheduled for late June and July.

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