“Intersections of Truth, Justice and Reconciliation in South Sudan” is a 2-year research project that started in November 2014. The project is being implemented by the UPEACE The Hague, in cooperation with the South Sudan Law Society (SSLS) and PAX.
It is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a part of the ‘Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law’, and is administered by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).
The project takes a holistic approach to understanding violence, and investigates people’s experiences in seeking justice in relation to both conflict-related and non-conflict-related violence. The three main research questions are:
- What are the strengths, weaknesses and interrelationships of different types of justice systems (both statutory and customary)?
- What opportunities for reform can be identified in order to bring justice services into greater conformity with user needs?
- What existing and potential opportunities for truth, justice and reconciliation can be identified in South Sudan with regard to the past and present conflicts?
Methodologies and activities
The project will make use of a variety of qualitative and quantitative research methods, including focus groups and interviews. Drawing on the findings from the focus groups and interviews, a survey will be developed to gain insight into people’s perceptions and experiences regarding truth, justice and reconciliation, and investigate the main questions listed above. The survey will make use of the Kobo Toolbox technology for mobile data collection in challenging environments. The same technology will be used for dispute tracking and case monitoring, whereby SSLS legal aid clinics can report on cases they receive, and monitor case proceedings in both statutory and customary courts. The project further includes historical case mappings of certain periods of violence, for example, enforced and involuntary disappearances that took place in the garrison towns of southern Sudan in the early 1990s. To support these activities and to inform the project with experiences in other countries, the project will employ a desk research component.
- One Pager - ITJR in South Sudan
- A quick overview of the project, and planned methodologies and activities.
- Briefing Note - Workshop ITJR in South Sudan
- Summarizing the discussions during a workshop organized on 7 November 2014 at the Juba Civic Engagement Center in Juba, South Sudan.
- Briefing Paper - Justice and Conflict in South Sudan. Observations from a pilot survey.
- This briefing paper presents initial observations arising from a pilot survey conducted in Juba in April 2015.
- Briefing Paper - The legacy of Kokora in South Sudan.
- This briefing paper presents the findings of a historical case study on Kokora, a word associated with the decentralization policy enacted in southern Sudan in 1983. This analysis is linked to contemporary debates on decentralization in South Sudan.
- Briefing Paper - Legacies of Enforced Disappearances in South Sudan.
- This briefing paper examines the legacy of enforced disappearances—or the arrest, detention, or abduction of people by state actors followed by a refusal to acknowledge the act or conceal the whereabouts or fate of the disappeared person—that occurred during the 22-year war (1983-2005) in South Sudan, with a particular focus on events during the 1990s.
- Policy Brief - Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) in Unity State, South Sudan.
- This policy brief examines sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in Unity State and offers a number of policy options to help reduce the use of SGBV as a weapon of war in South Sudan moving forward.
- Policy Brief - Observations on the Mandate of South Sudan’s Commission on Truth, Reconciliation and Healing (CTRH)
- This brief assesses options for the framing of the mandate of South Sudan’s Commission for Truth, Reconciliation and Healing (CTRH), with a particular focus on the temporal scope of the CTRH’s inquiries.
- Policy Brief – Expanding the Reach of Justice and Accountability in South Sudan
- This policy brief explores various options to consider in expanding the reach of justice and accountability processes as part of any post-conflict transition in South Sudan.
- Policy Brief - Access to Justice in South Sudan
- This policy brief assesses the rates of seven types of violent crime – cattle raiding, armed robbery, physical assault, murder, sexual assault, abduction and torture – in various parts of South Sudan and examines the choices that South Sudanese make when confronted with an instances of violent crime.
- Analytical Tool - Briefing Paper
- This briefing paper presents an analytical toolbox that can be used to collect data on people’s perceptions of and experiences with violent crime.
- Violent Crimes Questionnaire
- XLS-file for KoboToolbox, part of the analytical tool.
- Legal Support for Prisoners in South Sudan - Briefing Note
- This briefing note presents the findings of a short research on access to legal aid in Juba Central Prison in South Sudan. The research clearly shows some of the weaknesses of South Sudan’s legal and prison system and how the provision of legal aid can help address these weaknesses
- South Sudan: Justice and Reconciliation in a Divided Country - Policy Brief
- This policy brief presents the results of the conference “South Sudan: Justice and Reconciliation in a Divided Country” in Nairobi, Kenya on 27 September 2016 and the Hague, The Netherlands on 4 October 2016.
- Access to Justice: Perceptions of and Experiences with Violent Crime in South Sudan - FINAL REPORT
- The report documents people’s experiences with justice after violent crimes, and finds that security and justice services are often unavailable, or considered inaccessible or inadequate. People with more time and resources to invest have a higher chance of obtaining justice for a crime. Both punishment of perpetrators and compensation of victims are considered vital elements of justice, yet overall justice remains unattainable for most victims of violent crimes. The lack of justice contributes to spirals of violence prevalent in South Sudan.
- Perceptions of Transitional Justice in South Sudan - FINAL REPORT
- This report documents people’s perceptions and experiences of truth, justice and reconciliation in relation to the past and present conflicts in South Sudan. It finds that more than half of the people interviewed have been victimized by an armed group or actor, and that women are increasingly targeted in the post-2013 period. People diverge widely on the causes and possible solutions to the conflict, as well as on how to balance punishment (and amnesties), compensation and reconciliation. This shows the importance of continued discussions on transitional justice and reconciliation in the current context. At the same time, space for this is decreasing.