International Justice Monitor

A project of the Open Society Justice Initiative

About This Website

The International Justice Monitor website was created to expand awareness and understanding of the role of international justice in holding accountable those responsible for atrocities, particularly war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.

It aims to do so by providing regular, balanced, and accessible monitoring reports on significant trials of those accused of mass crimes, focusing on prosecutions at the International Criminal Court (ICC) and in national courts. In addition, the website provides a space for commentary, debate, and analysis of developments that shape the broader evolution of international criminal law and justice.

The site is operated by the Open Society Justice Initiative, part of the Open Society Foundations.

The Justice Initiative launched its first trial monitoring site in 2007 with the trial of Charles Taylor at the Special Court for Sierra Leone, hoping to bring information about the trial to communities in both Sierra Leone and Liberia. Since then, separate websites have followed individual trials at the ICC, as well as the 2013 genocide trial in Guatemala of the country’s former military ruler, Efrain Rios Montt.

This website, launched in March 2014, combines those previously separate trial monitoring sites, along with our reporting on the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, while adding space for additional commentary.

We are happy for our monitoring reports and other material on this site to be republished free of charge, with appropriate credit. You can also follow along on Twitter @ijmonitor or Facebook.

Staff Contributors

Kelly Dawn Askin is senior legal officer for international justice. Prior to joining the Open Society Justice Initiative, Ms. Askin served as a legal advisor to the judges of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda from 2000-2002. For some twenty years she has served as an expert consultant, legal advisor, or international law trainer to prosecutors, judges, and registry at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the Serious Crimes Unit in East Timor, the International Criminal Court, the Special Court for Sierra Leone, and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. Since 1995, Askin has taught or served as a visiting scholar at Notre Dame Law School, American University’s Washington College of Law, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Yale Law School, and Oxford University. She was previously executive director of the International Criminal Justice Institute and American University’s War Crimes Research Office. In 2005, Ms. Askin was awarded the ASIL’s prestigious Prominent Woman in International Law award. She was also 2004-2005 Fulbright New Century Scholar on the Global Empowerment of Women. Ms. Askin serves on the executive board of the American Branch of the International Law Association. She holds a JD and PhD (law), and is the author of a number of books and law review articles on international criminal tribunals and international gender justice.

Alison Cole is the legal officer for international justice based in New York.  Prior to working at the Open Society Justice Initiative, Ms. Cole worked with a range of international courts, including the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) and the International Criminal Court (ICC). Ms. Cole has also worked on human rights projects in Uganda, Zambia, India, Israel, and worked on death row projects in Jamaica.  She holds a first class BA honors degree in law from Cambridge University and participated in the European Erasmus exchange at Utrecht University.  She obtained her Master of Law degree (LLM) from Harvard Law School and is a registered New York attorney. Ms. Cole has been published in news outlets such as The Guardian and in law journals such as the International Criminal Law Review. She also lectures on international law and human rights issues, including as an adjunct professor at New York University. Her current work focuses on the use of technology in fact-finding. Follow her on Twitter @_AJCole.

Carolyn O’Neil is a program coordinator for the Justice Initiative. She serves on both the international justice and freedom of information and expression teams. Ms. O’Neil received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Barnard College, and spent a year at l’Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris studying European Political Science in the international program. Prior to joining the Justice Initiative, she worked at the Center for Constitutional Rights as assistant to the legal director. There she supported legal advocacy work on racial and economic justice, national security, and international human rights. She also gained experience expanding access to quality education in Latin America through the nonprofit Magis Americas, and spent two enlightening years teaching English in rural Japan.

Alpha Sesay is the legal officer for international justice based in The Hague. Prior to joining Justice Initiative full time, Mr. Sesay held several positions including trial monitor on Justice Initiative’s Charles Taylor trial monitoring project; as National Director of the Sierra Leone Court Monitoring program; as legal assistant/officer of the Morris Kallon defense team at the Special Court for Sierra Leone; as human rights lecturer at the University of Sierra Leone, and as consultant for Human Rights Watch. He holds an LL.M. in international human rights law from the University of Notre Dame, USA and an LL.B Honors from the University of Sierra Leone.

Taegin Stevenson is the associate legal officer for international justice with the Open Society Justice Initiative. Ms. Stevenson earned her undergraduate degree in International Affairs at Florida State University and her Juris Doctor at the University of Cincinnati College of Law, where during her final year, she was the managing editor of Human Rights Quarterly. Her work at the Justice Initiative focuses on ICC case monitoring and management of the International Justice Monitor website. She also contributes to other international justice technical assistance projects.

Eric Witte is the senior project manager on complementarity. The project promotes the political will and capacity required to investigate, prosecute and conduct fair trials of grave crimes at the national level.  The Justice Initiative encourages the integration of support for national trials of grave crimes into general rule-of-law development; it develops related policy guidance for decision-makers; and it works to develop political will and capacity in specific countries, including Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mexico, and Guatemala. Mr. Witte has been working in the field of international criminal justice for 15 years.  He has served as external relations adviser to the president of the International Criminal Court in The Hague and political adviser to the chief prosecutor at the Special Court for Sierra Leone in Freetown. He has authored two Justice Initiative publications—Putting Complementarity into Practice: Domestic Justice for International Crimes in DRC, Uganda, and Kenya, and International Crimes: Local Justice, a handbook for rule of law programmers (also available in French and Spanish). Mr. Witte has a degree in political science and foreign policy from the Universität Regensburg, Germany.

Trial Monitors

Jennifer Easterday is a consultant and trial monitor for the Open Society Justice Initiative and a Researcher on the Jus Post Bellum project at the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies at Leiden University. She previously worked for International Criminal Law Services, an NGO based in The Hague, on a variety of international criminal law capacity-building projects. She has also worked as a senior researcher and trial monitor for the UC Berkeley War Crimes Studies Center, researching and monitoring the Special Court for Sierra Leone trial of Charles Taylor and developing projects related to trial monitoring at other international and hybrid tribunals. She has experience at the ICTY and with other international criminal law and human rights NGOs in the United States and Latin America. She received her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law and is a member of the California State Bar. Prior to her career in law, she worked in public relations and communications.

Tom Maliti has worked for media organizations in Africa and Asia over the past two decades. He cut his teeth in the media world in 1991 as a freelance contributor to The Frontier Post in Lahore, Pakistan, writing short stories and feature articles. Later, he was part of a team of journalists that started Pakistan’s first weekend newspaper, The News on Sunday. He has served as editor of EXECUTIVE, a business magazine in Kenya; Expression Today, a media and human rights journal; and the African Woman and Child Feature Service. Before joining the ICC Kenya Monitor in mid-2011, he worked as a correspondent for The Associated Press in its East Africa Bureau.

Wairagala Wakabi has since 2009 covered the trial of Thomas Lubanga, and from 2010 the Jean-Pierre Bemba trial for the Open Society Justice Initiative. He has covered the Congo war since 1998, reporting for The Star (South Africa), The EastAfrican (Kenya), The Lancet (UK), and New Internationalist (UK). He also worked with the Institute for War and Peace reporting. A holder of an MA in Journalism and Media Studies from Rhodes University (South Africa) and an MSc in Informatics from Örebro University (Sweden), Wakabi has also reported from Burundi, the Central African Republic, Rwanda, and Uganda.

Useful Links

Tribunal Websites