The president on trial : prosecuting Hissène Habré
ed. by Sharon Weill, Kim Thuy Seelinger, Kerstin Bree Carlson
Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2020
XV, 442 p. ; 25 cm
During the 1980s, thousands of Chadian citizens were detained, tortured, and raped by then-President Hissène Habré's security forces. Decades later, Habré was finally prosecuted for his role in these atrocities not in his own country or in The Hague, but across the African continent, at the Extraordinary African Chambers in Senegal. By some accounts, Habré's trial and conviction by a specially built court in Dakar is the most significant achievement of global criminal justice in the past decade. Simply creating a court and commencing a trial against a deposed head of state was an extraordinary success. With its 2016 judgment, affirmed on appeal in 2017, the hybrid tribunal in Senegal exceeded expectations, working to deadlines and within its budget, with no murdered witnesses or self-dealing officials. This book details and contextualizes the Habré trial. It presents the trial and its impact using a novel structure of first-person accounts from 26 direct actors (Part I), accompanied by academic analysis from leading experts on international criminal justice (Part II).