Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Pot Mak Sonje: The Raboteau Trial

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Summary of a paper by Haitian Jurist Bernard H. Gousse

Summary of a paper by Haitian Jurist Bernard H. Gousse June 2002 In his paper, L’Indépendance Judiciaire en Haïti, respected Haitian jurist Bernard H. Gousse notes that civilizations will be judged by the quality of their justice. By aptly depicting the institutional, personal, administrative and budgetary shortcomings of the Haitian judiciary, he appeals to Haiti’s citizens to build national coalitions to demand and monitor judicial reforms. <back> The State of Judicial Independence The Haitian Constitution, originally passed in the early 19th Century, was considered one of the most progressive in the democratic world. Then and today, the Haitian people have been very proud of the document and the vision it enshrines. It contains the democratic principles of separation of power and the rule of law for all Haitian people-including the principle of judicial independence. However, since the constitution was originally […]

Vera Report

Vera-Report-2002

No Reconciliation Without Justice: Significant Developments in Haiti’s Criminal Justice System

No Reconciliation Without Justice: Significant Developments in Haiti’s Criminal Justice System Criminal Justice Matters, No. 44, July 2001, p. 22 By Brian Concannon Jr. www.cjm.org In the year 2000, the Haitian judiciary conducted two major human rights trials that showed both how far the justice system had come since Haiti’s transition to democracy began in 1994, and how far it still needs to go. The trials also provide an example to the rest of the world that justice for human rights victims need not be sacrificed in a democratic transition, that tenacity by a government and by civil society can surmount often-substantial obstacles. The constitutional authorities restored to power in October 1994 inherited a justice system in disarray, in one of the world’s poorest countries. Never a model of fairness, the system had been ravaged by the thirty-year dictatorship of […]

Justice for Haiti: The Raboteau Trial

Justice for Haiti: The Raboteau Trial Haiti’s Raboteau Massacre trial was a major, though under-reported, development in international law in 2000. The case is a milestone in the international fight against impunity for large-scale human rights violations. It can also serve as a model for other countries attempting to address the crimes of a dictatorship through national prosecutions after a democratic transition. The trial concluded on November 9, 2000 when, after six weeks of trial and five years of pre-trial proceedings, a jury in the Haitian city of Gonaïves convicted sixteen former soldiers and paramilitaries for participating in the April 1994 Raboteau Massacre. A week later, the judge convicted thirty-seven more defendants in absentia, including the entire military high command and the heads of the paramilitary FRAPH (Front Révolutionnaire pour l’Avancement et le Progrès Haïtiens). The Raboteau case marked a […]

Justice for Haiti: The Raboteau Trial – outline

Justice for Haiti: The Raboteau Trial O U T L I N E Justice for Haiti: The Raboteau Trial A. Background B. The Massacre C. The Fight for Justice D. The Trial E. Follow-up  

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