Week 6: To Rebuild a Judiciary (Part 2)

My research around conflict/post-conflict reconstruction, focused on Balkan states, is meant to help define Ukraine’s needs for its own judicial reform/capacity-building processes as it comes out of the war with Russia. The Ukraine Task Force at USIP will publish a report of findings and policy recommendations for the U.S. government and like-minded actors. The Ukrainian government will also be interested in knowing our recommendations for how best to secure peace once hostilities end or, at least, come to simmer in some form.

This research memo took me deep into the judicial reform processes of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia, and Estonia. I also touched upon examples of best practices in East Timor, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone. Since I had comparatively little previous knowledge about these processes and the country-specific contexts, I learned a ton! From security vetting and judicial appointment mechanisms to case prioritization criteria for war crime prosecutions and witness and victim support, there are so many reports and recommendations that define best practices.

This week, the Asia Center at USIP hosted “Afghanistan’s Dire Humanitarian Situation: How Can the International Community Alleviate the Crisis and Protect Afghan Livelihoods?” The expert panelists described the 28 million people in need of humanitarian aid in Afghanistan, that number up from 12 million since the abrupt U.S. departure from Afghanistan in August 2021. Because, since that time, foreign aid flowing into Afghanistan really ended, the economy collapsed. The panelists emphasized, however, that humanitarian aid is not the sustainable solution to Afghanistan’s dire situation, and real reform is needed to alleviate this crisis.

The Institute of Peace hosts many public events to discuss current events and peace-building initiatives. Even just from reading about these events advertised in the weekly bulletin, I am seeing just how far-reaching the Institute’s peace-building efforts are and, necessarily, how seemingly insurmountable the “task” of achieving of global peace is.