Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Weill, Seelinger, & Carlson: The President on Trial: Prosecuting Hissène Habré

Sharon Weill (American Univ. of Paris), Kim Thuy Seelinger (Washington Univ. in St. Louis), & Kerstin Bree Carlson (Univ. of Southern Denmark) have published The President on Trial: Prosecuting Hissène Habré (Oxford Univ. Press 2020). The table of contents is here. Here's the abstract:

During the 1980s, thousands of Chadian citizens were detained, tortured, and raped by then-President Hissène Habré's security forces. Decades later, Habré was finally prosecuted for his role in these atrocities not in his own country or in The Hague, but across the African continent, at the Extraordinary African Chambers in Senegal. By some accounts, Habré's trial and conviction by a specially built court in Dakar is the most significant achievement of global criminal justice in the past decade. Simply creating a court and commencing a trial against a deposed head of state was an extraordinary success. With its 2016 judgment, affirmed on appeal in 2017, the hybrid tribunal in Senegal exceeded expectations, working to deadlines and within its budget, with no murdered witnesses or self-dealing officials.

This book details and contextualizes the Habré trial. It presents the trial and its impact using a novel structure of first-person accounts from 26 direct actors (Part I), accompanied by academic analysis from leading experts on international criminal justice (Part II). Combined, these views present both local and international perspectives through distinct but inter-locking parts: empirical source material from understudied actors both within and outside the court is then contextualized with expert analysis that reflects on the construction and work of: the Extraordinary African Chamber (EAC) as well as wider themes of international criminal law. Together with an introduction laying out the work and significance of the EAC and its trial of Hissène Habré, the book is a comprehensive consideration of a history-making trial.