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  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for International and Regional Studies: CIRS
  • Abstract: Following the ‘Arab Spring’ uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa, many had high hopes not only for democratization but also for transitional justice to address the myriad abuses that had taken place in the region, both during the uprisings and for decades prior to them. Despite these hopes, most of the transitions in the region have stalled, along with the possibility of transitional justice. This volume is the first to look at this process and brings together leading experts in the fields of human rights and transitional justice, and in the history, politics and justice systems of countries such as Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Algeria, Bahrain and Morocco. While these countries have diverse histories, political institutions, and experiences with accountability, most have experienced non-transition, stalled transition, or political manipulation of transitional justice measures, highlighting the limits of such mechanisms. These studies should inform reflection not only on the role of transitional justice in the region, but also on challenges to its operation more generally.
  • Topic: Democratization, Human Rights, Law, Arab Spring
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North Africa
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Future for Advanced Research and Studies (FARAS)
  • Abstract: The so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) is making steady progress on the ground in Raqqa, ISIS’ main stronghold in Syria. The alliance of militias recently announced that they retook 70% of the city from the terrorist group following a successful plan to divide the city into an eastern and western zone and storm the city from both sides. The SDF militants advancing from the eastern and western parts of the city linked up for the first time on August 11 prevent- ing ISIS from reaching the Euphrates River and keeping its fighters with civilians who remain besieged by both groups.
  • Topic: Democratization, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Laetitia Bucaille
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: Today, the creation of a Palestinian state appears to be a distant possibility: the international community rejected to manage the issue, and the leadership in these territories weakened because of its divisions, revealing their inability to advance. Both the political and the territorial partition between the Gaza strip, governed by the Hamas and the West Bank, under Palestinian authority in line with Fatah, reveal a profound crisis that questions the very contours of Palestinian politics. It also shows that Hamas’ integration in the political game made it impossible to pursue the security subcontacting system. Maintaining the system avoids reconstructing the Palestinian political community, and makes it difficult to develop a strategy that moves towards sovereignty. Since October 2015, the popular and pacific resistance project has been shelved by the return of the violence against Israeli civilians. The Palestinian leadership counts on internationalization of the cause, which has shown mediocre results. Will the replacement of Mahmoud Abbas by his competitors permit to leave the rut?
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Democratization, Politics, Sovereignty, War, Territorial Disputes, Governance, Peacekeeping, Conflict, State
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, West Bank
  • Author: Hande Özhabeş
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: A number of amendments for criminal law have been instituted in Turkey in recent years within the framework of the judicial reform process that especially were geared towards the realization of the fair trial principle. Between 2011 and 2013, four groups of legal amendments named “Judicial Reform Packages” were passed. These brought about important improvements regarding fair trial, freedom of speech, personal liberty and security. The TESEV Democratization Program published a report evaluating the effect of these four judicial reform packages on rights and freedoms in September 2013. This brief report provides an evaluation of the amendment package instituted in March 2014 that included important changes vis-a-vis the specially empowered judicial system.
  • Topic: Democratization, Law, Reform, Criminal Justice, Justice
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Luis Martinez
  • Publication Date: 07-2013
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: In post-Qadhafi Libya, the authorities are in search of a new art of governing. Despite the legitimacy accorded them by elections, they remain very weak. Without any means of coercion, they are constantly obliged to negotiate for their survival, threatened by those who were not chosen by voters but who instead draw their legitimacy from their participation in the revolution – the militias. The challenge facing the Libyan authorities is not so much to combat these forces but to harness them. Libya has not undertaken a process of “de-Qadhafication.” But for the militias, in particular the Islamists, the presence of former officials and leaders in the state apparatus is intolerable. Thus, on May 5, 2013 they pressured the parliament into passing a law excluding from politics persons who occupied positions of responsibility under the old regime. If the revolutionary brigades continue to impose their will on the government, the fall of Qadhafi’s regime will have not brought about political change in Libya but rather the continuation of former political practices under a new guise.
  • Topic: Corruption, Crime, Democratization, Sociology, Governance, Elections, Arab Spring, Political outlook, Protests, State
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Libya, North Africa
  • Author: Onur Bayramoğlu
  • Publication Date: 01-2013
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: One of the most critical areas of reform in Turkey’s recent history involves the judiciary, which has served to corroborate the tutelary regime. With a discourse emphasizing that the judiciary itself must also be bound by the “rule of law”, the Justice and Development Party (JDP) took a number of steps toward reforming the administration of supreme judiciary bodies, as well as the judiciary in general. The constitutional amendments brought to the ballot in the referendum of 12 September 2012 essentially represented an initiative to transform the judiciary. The amendments package was intended to equip the Constitutional Court and the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) with a more pluralist structure. This report titled “the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors in Turkey: Roundtable Discussion on its New Structure and Operations” is based on discussions of the roundtable meeting attended by representatives from judges and prosecutors professional associations such as YARSAV (The Association of Judges and Prosecutors) and Demokrat Yargı (Democratic Judiciary Association), which adopted divergent positions over the course of the referendum; one representative from HSYK, the direct addressee in the debate; and experts with diverse opinions. With the roundtable, we intended to generate direct discussion by experts and practitioners of the field in a small group affording sufficient time for speakers. As a result, we treated the current situation and practice through an insider’s perspective and in detail. This also provided a shared platform where parties coming from varying political positions exchanged opinions regarding both the HSYK and several contested aspects of the judiciary reform. The roundtable ensured that critiques were communicated to and discussed with the directly relevant parties through face-to-face conversations.
  • Topic: Democratization, Law, Rule of Law, Justice, Judiciary
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East