Sri Lanka - Expert Panel Nominated to Monitor Transitional Justice Mechanisms from Victims’ Perspective : TGTE

Monitoring Panel

COLOMBO, SRI LANKA, November 17, 2015 /EINPresswire.com/ -- 

The Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (“TGTE”) has nominated a
panel of five legal experts to monitor the design and implementation of the
transitional justice mechanisms in Sri Lanka, including the judicial measures
to investigate and prosecute war crimes, crimes against humanity and
genocide (“Monitoring Accountability Panel” or “MAP”).

Following the Report of the OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka, dated 16
September 2015, and the UN Human Rights Council Resolution on
‘Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka,’
dated 1 October 2015, the Sri Lankan Government undertook to establish
accountability mechanisms to address the crimes committed during the Sri
Lankan armed conflict. These will include a special criminal court with
foreign judges and prosecutors.

The MAP will provide independent monitoring, advice, and
recommendations, focusing on the effectiveness of accountability measures
from a victims’ perspective. It will also consider issues of fair trial and due
process for suspects and accused persons. The views and recommendations of
the Panel will enable victims and other stakeholders to participate more
effectively in the process and thus enhance the legitimacy of the measures.

The MAP shall formulate its opinions independently - irrespective of party
political considerations or the agenda of any specific group (including the
TGTE) – according to the interests of fair justice, applying international
standards and best practices. The initial mandate of the Panel shall run from
November 2015 to December 2016. Further detail of the Panel’s mandate can
be found in the attached Terms of Reference.

The Members of the Monitoring Accountability Panel have been selected for
their legal expertise in international criminal law and human rights, national
war crimes courts, and regional criminal cases. The Panel Members (in
alphabetical order) are:

Marie Guiraud (France)
Peter Haynes QC (UK)
Richard J Rogers (UK)
Heather Ryan (USA)
Justice Ajit Prakash Shah (India)
Geoffrey Robertson QC will act as a consultant to the Panel, providing
additional independent advice. 

Monitoring Accountability Panel, Members’ Bios:

Marie Guiraud (France) – Panel Member:

Marie Guiraud, a French lawyer, has worked on human rights and
international criminal law for fifteen years. She is currently the Civil Party
Lead Co-Lawyer for the victims at the UN-assisted Extraordinary Chambers
in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC). Representing the interests of nearly 4,000
victims who participate in Case 002/02, Marie serves as the co-lead court
advocate. She has been heavily involved in the design and implementation of
judicial reparations for victims of crimes under the Khmer Rouge regime.
Prior to her current role, Marie worked at a major international human rights
organization and then as a private lawyer in criminal litigation, both before
French and foreign Courts: In France, she represented both defendants and
victims in complex and serious criminal cases. Abroad, Marie represented
victims of international crimes before Ivorian and Congolese Courts and was
a Civil Party Lawyer in case 002/01 before the ECCC.

Peter Haynes QC (UK) Panel Member:

Peter Haynes QC is a British barrister with more than 30 years’ experience in
domestic and international criminal courts. He currently acts as the Lead
Counsel for Jean Pierre Bemba at the International Criminal Court (ICC) and
is the Lead Legal Representative of Victims at the Special Tribunal for
Lebanon (STL). He is one of the very few practitioners who have led cases
before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (where
he appeared for the defence of General Vinko Pandurevic in relation to the
Srebrenica massacre), the ICC and the STL. He has appeared in cases
involving genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and international
terrorism. He has been responsible for development of the jurisprudence,
practice and procedure of the representation of victims in international /
hybrid courts. Peter regularly lectures on the functioning of international
criminal courts and, in particular, victim representation.

Richard J Rogers (UK) – Panel Member and Secretary:

Richard Rogers, a USA (California) and UK qualified lawyer, has 20 years
experience in international criminal law and human rights. He has held senior
positions in the UN and OSCE: He was the OSCE’s Chief legal system
monitor in post-conflict Kosovo, the Principal Defender at the UN’s
Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, and the head of legal
support for the Appeals Chamber at the UN’s International Criminal Tribunal
for Yugoslavia. 

Richard is currently assisting several victim groups before the
International Criminal Court and has worked with national war crimes courts 
in Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, and Uganda.
Richard has recently provided expert testimony before the US Congress
House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and spoken to human rights issues
before the European Parliament’s human rights committee and the Bosnian
Parliament. He is a founding partner of Global Diligence LLP.

Heather Ryan (USA) – Panel Member:

Heather Ryan, a US lawyer, has been working in the field of international law
for over 15 years. She is currently a special consultant for the Open Society
Justice Initiative monitoring the Extraordinary Chambers of the Courts in
Cambodia (ECCC), a hybrid tribunal set up to prosecute senior leaders of the
Khmer Rouge Regime responsible for mass atrocities form 1975-1979. She has
been involved since 2005 in evaluating and reporting on the development and
implementation of the ECCC in terms of compliance with international fair
trial standards, as well as the court’s effectiveness in meeting its goals with
respect to the victims and public. Her experience also includes work at the
Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School, Global
Greengrants Fund, The Coalition for International Justice, teaching
international criminal law, as well as private law practice.

Justice Ajit Prakash Shah (India) - Panel Member:

Justice Shah, a renowned Indian jurist, has been practicing law as an advocate
and judge for around 40 years. Following his practice as a lawyer in Bombay,
Justice Shah was elevated to the bench in 1992, becoming a permanent Judge
of Bombay High Court in 1994. He was promoted to Chief Justice of the
Madras High Court in 2005 and Chief Justice of Delhi High Court in 2008. He
retired from the bench in 2010. Until August 2015, Justice Shah was the
Chairman of the 20th Law Commission of India, a body established by the
Indian Government to promote legal reform throughout the justice system.
He was also the Chairperson of the Broadcasting Content Complaints
Council, a self-regulatory body for non-news TV channels set up by
the Indian Broadcasting Foundation in consultation with the Ministry of
Information & Broadcasting.

Monitoring Accountability Panel, Consultant’s Bio:

Geoffrey Robertson QC - Consultant:

Geoffrey Robertson QC is founder and joint head of Doughty Street
Chambers. He has had a distinguished career as a trial and appellate counsel,
an international judge, and author of leading textbooks. He has argued many
landmark cases in media, constitutional and criminal law, in the European
Court of Justice; the European Court of Human Rights; the Supreme Court
(House of Lords and Privy Council); the UN War Crimes courts; the World
Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)
and in the highest courts of many commonwealth countries.

Geoffrey has, as a jury advocate, appeared in many criminal trials at the Old
Bailey and libel trials in the High Court. He has appeared in several hundred
reported cases in the Court of Appeal (both civil and criminal divisions) and
in judicial reviews in the High Court, and in subsequent appeals. He has a
large advisory practice, for clients including governments, media
corporations, NGO’s and local councils.

For media inquiries please contact:

• Mr. Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran, Prime Minister of the Trannational 
Government of Tamil Eelam – pmo@tgte.org

• Richard J Rogers, Panel Secretary - richardrogers@globaldiligence.com

MONITORING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE MECHANISMS FOR SRI LANKA 

PANEL OF EXPERTS: TERMS OF REFERENCE

Background and Overview:

1. The Panel of Experts to Monitor Accountability in Sri Lanka (“Monitoring 

Accountability Panel” or “MAP”) has been established at the request of the 

Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (“TGTE”) to provide independent 

monitoring, advice, and recommendations on the transitional justice 

mechanisms in Sri Lanka, following the end of the civil war in 2009.

2. The overall mandate of the MAP is to monitor, advise and report on the design 

and implementation of the judicial and non-judicial measures for transitional 

justice established by the Sri Lankan Government pursuant to the Report of the 

OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka (“OISL Report”), dated 16 September 2015, 

and the UN Human Rights Council Resolution (A_HRC_30_L.29) on ‘Promoting 

reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka,’ dated 1 October 

2015. Whilst the MAP will focus on the effectiveness of accountability 

measures from a victims’ perspective, it will also consider issues of fair trial 

and due process for suspects and accused persons.

3. The UN Human Rights Council1 and the UN Special Rapporteur on Transitional 

Justice2 have called for broad participation and consultation in the design and 

4. The MAP shall garner the views of victims inside and outside Sri Lanka. It shall 

formulate its opinions independently - irrespective of party political 

considerations or the agenda of any specific group (including the TGTE) – 

according to the interests of fair justice, applying international fair trial 

standards and best practices.

5. The MAP’s Legal Experts shall agree all reports prior to publication or 

distribution. The initial mandate of the MAP shall run from November 2015 to 

December 2016. 

Specific Terms of Reference:

Re: The judicial mechanism with a special counsel:

6. To monitor, evaluate, and make recommendations on the establishment of the 

“judicial mechanism with a special counsel to investigate allegations of 

violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international 

humanitarian law.”3 The monitoring shall focus on the need for full and fair 

accountability, victim reparations, as well as fair trial and due process.

7. Subject to available information, particular attention should be given to:

a. The concerns and expectations of victims;

b. The treatment of victims within the system, particularly victims 

c. The mechanisms for victim participation in the process and for 

d. The participation of foreign judges and the set-up of judicial 

e. The participation of foreign prosecutors and investigators and 

f. The selection process and qualifications of national judges;

g. The procedures for selecting suspects for prosecution; 

standpoint, for transitional justice measures depend, to a large extent, on the willingness of victims 

and others to participate, for example, by sharing pertinent information with the relevant 

institutions. It is also necessary from the standpoint of effectiveness, for the measures, after all, 

should respond to the needs and expectations of their potential beneficiaries. And it is called 

for in terms of their sustainability for these are inevitably long-term projects that will likely depend 

on the willingness of stakeholders to defend them over time from the contingencies of politics. 

This is more likely to happen if the stakeholders can claim ownership over them.”

h. The application of international standards of fair trial and due 

i. The mechanisms for witness protection.

RE: Other areas of transitional justice:

8. To monitor, evaluate, and make recommendations on the other judicial and 

non-judicial transitional justice mechanisms implemented by the Government 

of Sri Lanka. 

9. Subject to available information, particular attention should be given to:

a. Non judicial processes for truth-seeking;

b. Institutional reform, including vetting of public employees;

c. Treatment of prisoners or war; 

d. Demilitarisation and demobilization;

e. Security sector reforms;

f. The legality of measures designed to fight terrorism;

g. Measures to prevent torture and sexual violence by the security 

h. The response to allegations of enforced disappearances;

i. The treatment of Tamils and Muslims within the Sri Lankan legal 

10. The MAP will submit an interim report by March 2016 and a final report by 

January 2017 on those matters outlined in this Terms of Reference. It may 

issue press releases and position papers as the need arises.

END

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