Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Brian Concannon, Justice for Haiti: The Raboteau Trial (ABA)

The International Lawyer Summer, 2001 35 Int’l Law. 641 SECTION: INTERNATIONAL LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS IN REVIEW: 2000 TITLE: PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL LAW: International Criminal Law: V. Justice for Haiti: The Raboteau Trial AUTHOR: Brian Concannon, Jr. *, Introduction by David Stoelting ** * Brian Concannon, Jr. has worked in Haiti for the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux for five years. ** David Stoelting is with Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, New York. He is Chair of the International Criminal Law Committee of the ABA Section of International Law and Practice. TEXT: 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 […]

A Step in the Right Direction

Brian Concannon Jr., The Miami Herald February 6, 2001 A Step in the Right Direction Haiti ‘s progress in consolidating democracy over the last decade is spectacular. PORT-AU-PRINCE , HAITI- Tomorrow, Haiti President Rene Preval is scheduled to pass the mantle of power to his successor, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. If he does, he will have been elected, served no more nor less than his constitutional term and relinquished power voluntarily. Such a trajectory in a more-established democracy would be routine, not worthy of note. In Haiti , it’s an accomplishment, one that none of Preval’s predecessors since independence in 1804 have managed. If present trends continue, Haitians may one day treat such an administration as routine. Haiti has struggled in its democratic transition since the departure of Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier in 1986, and it continues to struggle today. Yet, viewed against […]


20 November 2000RABOTEAU VERDICT IN HAITI “A LANDMARK IN FIGHT AGAINST IMPUNITY, ” BUT CASE NOT YET FINISHED, SAYS UN INDEPENDENT EXPERT The United Nations Independent Expert on Haiti, Adama Dieng, said today the Haitian justice system had taken “a huge step forward” with the completion of the trial in relation to the 1994 Raboteau Massacre. According to Mr. Dieng, the case was the longest and most complex in Haiti’s history and was the first to make extensive use of expert testimony and documents from the military’s archives. The trial, which lasted six weeks, ended on 9 November. The jury found 16 of the 22 defendants in custody guilty of participating in the massacre, an attack by military and paramilitary units on pro-democracy activists under Haiti’s 1991-1994 dictatorship. Most of those convicted were found guilty of murder or of being an […]

Brian Concannon, Beyond Complementarity: The International Criminal Court and National Prosecutions, A View From Haiti (Colum. Human Rights Law Review)

Columbia Human Rights Law Review Fall, 2000 32 Colum. Human Rights L. Rev. 201 ARTICLE: BEYOND COMPLEMENTARITY:THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT AND NATIONAL PROSECUTIONS, A VIEW FROM HAITI NAME: by Brian Concannon, Jr.* BIO: * Attorney, Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI), Port-au-Prince, Ha<um i>ti. The author has lived and worked on human rights issues in Haiti since 1995. In 1995 and early 1996 he was a Human Rights Observer with MICIVIH, the United Nations (UN)/Organization of American States (OAS) human rights mission to Haiti. Since June 1996, he has headed the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI), an organization funded by the Haitian government to help the judiciary with human rights prosecutions. The BAI’s work includes: representing victims in the pre-trial, trial, and appellate phases of human rights cases; assisting investigative judges and prosecutors; coordinating with special police units; advising national officials […]

So That Tyrants Won’t Rest, Haitians Keep a Vigil

David Conzalez, New York Times August 2, 2000 So That Tyrants Won’t Rest, Haitians Keep a Vigil PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Every Wednesday, a crowd gathers in the Plaza of Martyrs here for a ritual as unsparing and inescapable as the brutal midday sun. They circle a statue of a slender man releasing a dove to the heavens hoping that their pleas,too, will rise above the din and indifference. “We are not going to hide from the assassins,” they chant. “The people are like the trees. We will bend but we will not break.” Nor will they budge. What started with 11 people in 1997 over the beatings, rapes and murders committed under the regime that ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in a 1991 coup has grown to a weekly march of more than 100 men and women. They are part of a […]


John Donnelly, Boston Globe June 11, 2000 JUSTICE DELAYED: SHOWDOWN LOOMS IN HAITI FORMER BOSTON LAWYER TO TRY EX-OFFICIALS IN 1994 MASSACRE Edition: THIRD Section: National/Foreign Page: A1 GONAIVES , Haiti – It was just another slaughter in Haiti. Soldiers and police beat people in their homes here before dawn on April 22, 1994. They shot them fleeing into the sea. It became a massacre of floating corpses. And that normally would have been the end of the story, for Haiti’s history is full of bloody tales of the military acting as it pleased, crushing any who resisted. This time was different. Months later, a US invasion force of 20,000 troops ushered out the country’s military leaders, and the victims in the Raboteau neighborhood of Gonaives grew more determined not to allow what had happened that morning slip away forgotten. […]

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