Columbia International Affairs Online: Policy Briefs

CIAO DATE: 02/2014

Awaiting Justice: Prospects for Prosecuting War Crimes in Syria

Maria Radziejowska

November 2013

The Polish Institute of International Affairs


In light of the current situation in Syria, and calls to hold to account those responsible for the atrocities allegedly committed during the conflict, a group of members of the American Congress suggested that the Security Council should create an ad hoc tribunal for Syria. A Blue Ribbon Panel of international criminal law experts presented a draft Statute for a Syrian Extraordinary Tribunal to Prosecute Atrocity Crimes, while some of the Security Council members suggested referring the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court. Issues pertaining to establishing justice and restoring the rule of law in Syria will certainly be on the agenda for future peace talks. The question of working out a transitional justice strategy for the country is inevitable. Whether such a strategy should include a judicial accountability mechanism will certainly be considered.