Charles Taylor and the Special Court for Sierra Leone
I was happy when I read the news that Nigeria has finally pledged to give up Charles Taylor to the Special Court for Sierra Leone. I'm not sure if President Obasanjo just grew tired of Taylor or if the Americans offered him a really sweet deal, but I'm thrilled that finally, the Special Court has caught its big fish.
At least that was my initial reaction. Although I really do feel that for many Liberians, and for Sierra Leoneans as well, seeing Charles Taylor leave his comfortable exile in Nigeria and stand trial for his role in two disastrous civil wars is an important step on the path to closure, I can't help but wonder what good, in the end, all this can serve.
The gist? This court and perhaps all courts of its kind are created by the West for the benefit of the West with very little reference to the actual needs of the people for whom they are supposedly seeking justice. The result is a process and an institution painfully out of step with local realities.
Special Court for Sierra Leone – Out of Step?