By some accounts, the trial and conviction of Hissène Habré is the most significant achievement global criminal justice has enjoyed in the past decade. Simply creating a court and commencing a trial against a deposed head of state was an extraordinary success. The ad hoc tribunal set up in Senegal exceeded expectations, working on time, within budget, with no murdered witnesses or self-dealing officials. This achievement is particularly meaningful in the current climate, where we are witnessing a ‘backlash’ against international criminal justice. This book presents the Habré trial and its impact using a novel structure of first person accounts and academic analysis, presenting both local and international perspectives through distinct but inter-locking parts. It offers empirical source material followed by expert analysis designed to bring the reader closer both to the construction and work of the Extraordinary African Chambers (EAC) as well as wider themes of international criminal law. We the editors followed the case from 2015 onwards. We made several trips to Dakar in order to interview a spectrum of actors associated with the EAC. Convinced of the trial’s significance, concerned that it would remain understudied by an anglophone audience, and wishing to bring local experience and knowledge out of Dakar and to the world, we conceived of the book’s particular structure. This is the genesis of the twenty-six actor testimonials that constitute Part I, the heart of the book. In Part II of the book we situate the Habré case in its larger context through seventeen contributions of leading academics and experts in the field of ICL.
- hybrid tribunals, international criminal justice, socio-legal studies, universal jurisdiction, crimes against humanity