Combating Serious Crimes in Postconflict Societies

A Handbook for Policymakers and Practitioners
December 2006
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This path-breaking volume fills a major gap in the literature on efforts to rebuild societies emerging from conflict. Drawing on firsthand experience in tackling organized and other destabilizing crime in Kosovo, Bosnia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere, it distills that practical, hard-won knowledge into lessons and guidance for policymakers and practitioners who must face similar challenges. No similar work exists anywhere.

"Serious crimes" include any and all criminal acts that threaten post-conflict security, hinder political and economic reconstruction, or undermine public trust in nascent criminal justice institutions. From money laundering to murder, drug trafficking to terrorism, these crimes flourish where governments are impotent or officials are themselves complicit in illegal activities. Their impact on post-conflict societies of all types can be profoundly damaging--but they can be dealt with.

More than forty seasoned practitioners--judges and generals, prosecutors and human rights activists, scholars and government officials from across the world--participated in the discussions that generated the broad guidelines and more specific prescriptions presented in this handbook. Each of its chapters covers a different area of activity--initial assessment, reform of the legal framework, institutional reform, investigation and prosecution of serious crimes, and foreign assistance--providing not only general guidance but also real-life examples to illustrate the importance of adapting to local circumstances.

Easy to read and easy to use, with checklists and sidebars supplementing the succinct text, Combating Serious Crimes will be greatly appreciated by governments, international and regional organizations, and foreign assistance providers throughout the world. The police, judges, prosecutors, defense counsel and peacekeepers who address serious crimes on a day-to-day basis in post-conflict states will likewise find the book invaluable.

"This groundbreaking publication will be an invaluable tool in the hands of those facing the challenges of restructuring postconflict societies. Put together by seasoned practitioners and distinguished scholars, it explains what approaches have and haven’t worked, discusses the kinds of resources required, and provides a rich fund of practical examples and references...This book should be on the desk of every chief of mission and international official tasked with rebuilding societies traumatized by conflict."

— Jacques Paul Klein, former Chief of United Nations Operations in Croatia (UNTAES), Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIB), and Liberia (UNOMIL).

Colette Rausch

Colette Rausch is associate vice president for global practice and innovation at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP). She leads the development of new approaches, research, and learning in the areas of promoting justice, security, and rule of law; countering violent extremism; and strengthening inclusive societies. Rausch has worked in numerous countries, including Afghanistan, El Salvador, Guatemala, Iraq, Liberia, Libya, Myanmar (Burma), Nepal, Nicaragua, Peru, Ukraine, Senegal, and Yemen. Her international efforts include serving as legal adviser to the U.S. Department of Justice in Hungary, where she focused on the development of a crime task force, and in Bosnia and Herzegovina on law reform. She also served as the department’s program manager for Central and East Europe, establishing criminal justice development and training programs in Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, Kosovo, and Macedonia. Rausch worked with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe on strengthening rule of law and adherence to human rights standards; training judges, prosecutors, and defense counsels; and establishing systems for monitoring human rights. At the State of Nevada’s Attorney General’s Office, she handled consumer and telemarketing fraud cases. At the federal public defender’s office, she handled death penalty appeals. As a federal prosecutor, she was involved in the white-collar crime and the violent crime units in Las Vegas. Rausch holds a JD from Santa Clara University School of Law.

Adalbert Gross

Adalbert Gross is a senior police officer of the state of North-Rhine-Westphalia in Germany. Before retiring from official duties in 2014 after forty-four years, he worked as lecturer and course director for the College of European Police and taught senior police management to serve in EU-Missions. Previously, Gross was deployed as UN Mission in Kosovo Police Deputy Commissioner Operations in Kosovo from 2001 to 2002— managing the introduction of the euro, civil unrest in various hot spots of the province, and the first arrests of high-profile Albanian criminals— and then served as interim police commissioner before returning to his home police force. From 1997 to 1998, Gross worked for the UN International Police Task Force in Sarajevo as head of Local Police Development Section, where he was responsible for the organization of local police structures under the Dayton Peace Accord. Gross holds an BA and an MA in law enforcement.

Michael E. Hartmann

Michael E. Hartmann has been director of rule of law for the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan since 2013. Previously, in 2012 and 2013, he served as senior crown prosecutor (barrister) and war crimes coordinator for Australia’s Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands. From 2008 to 2010, he was criminal justice program manager for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and from 2005 to 2007 adviser to the attorney general of Afghanistan for the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Justice Sector Support Program. The first UN-appointed international prosecutor for Kosovo, Hartmann served in that capacity from 2000 to 2005, appealing before Kosovo’s Supreme Court and investigating and prosecuting trials of genocide, war crimes, terrorism, corruption, assassinations, rape, and ethnic hate crimes. From 1998 to 2000, he was team leader for the UN Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Judicial System Assessment Program and Bosnia field representative for UNODC’s anticorruption project. In 2003, he was a senior fellow at the United States Institute of Peace and in 1996 was the Senior Fulbright Law Scholar in Pakistan. From 1983 to 1998, Hartmann was an assistant district attorney in San Francisco.

Deborah Isser

Deborah Isser is lead governance adviser in Africa and global lead for justice in the governance practice at the World Bank. An author of the World Development Report 2017: Governance and the Law, Isser joined the World Bank in 2011, where she has served as program manager of the Justice for the Poor program and governance focal point for fragile and conflict-affected states. Previously, Isser worked at USIP directing projects on legal pluralism and on land and conflict. She served as senior policy adviser at the Office of the High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and special adviser on peacekeeping at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. She is the editor of Customary Justice and the Rule of Law in War-Torn Societies (2011), and author of several reports, articles and book chapters on law, justice and development. An adjunct faculty member at Georgetown and George Washington Law Schools, Isser holds degrees from Harvard Law School, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and Columbia University.

Andrew Mackay

Major General Andrew Mackay (ret.), CEO and founder of Complexas Ltd. and APPLIform Ltd., has been involved in the stabilization of fragile and conflict afflicted states throughout his career. His expertise includes security sector reform, governance, rule of law, sustainable development, and fair elections. Since retiring from active military service in 2011, Mackay has worked predominantly in Africa on a wide variety of infrastructure and trade-enabling projects with governments, the World Bank, the African Development Bank, and multinational companies. Previously, he commanded British Forces in Afghanistan in 2007 and 2008, designing and delivering interagency programs to more fully understand and benefit alienated communities, offering them a stake in the future of their district, province, and the Afghan state. Joining the British Army in 1981, Mackay then served in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo, Lebanon, Iraq, and Afghanistan. In Bosnia, he worked within the OSCE as the deputy director of the Joint Elections Operation Centre. In Kosovo, he served in the UN Mission Team as head of the Advisory Unit on Security. In Baghdad, he set up and commanded the Civilian Police Assistance Training Team, creating a budget of $1.5 billion to organize, train, equip, and mentor the nascent Ministry of Interior and more than 150,000 Iraqi police. Mackay is coauthor of Behavioural Conflict: Why Understanding People and Their Motivations Will Prove Decisive in Future Conflict (2012).

Vivienne O'Connor

Vivienne O'Connor is an independent rule of law consultant with fifteen years of experience in the field. She heads TransformLaw, an interdisciplinary consulting firm that provides strategic advice on how to facilitate transformative legal change processes in conflict-affected and developing countries. From 2007 until 2016, Vivienne worked for USIP as a senior rule of law adviser and as director of the International Network to Promote the Rule of Law. She has engaged in rule of law projects in numerous countries that include Afghanistan, Burma, Haiti, Liberia, Nepal, and Syria. Vivienne has trained hundreds of rule of law practitioners through the “Rule of Law Practitioner’s Course” that she designed and delivered for USIP, the UK Department for International Development, and the Australian government. Vivienne holds a bachelor’s degree in civil law, a master’s degree in international human rights law (LLM), and a PhD in law from the National University of Ireland, Galway. She is the author of several books, including volumes 1 and 2 of Model Codes for Postconflict Criminal Justice. She is currently writing a monograph titled Transformative Rule of Law: Theory and Practice.

David C. Ralston

Major General David C. Ralston (ret.) is president of Government Secure Solutions CGI Inc. He served in the U.S. Army for more than thirty years, retiring from active service in 2007 as a major general. Over the course of his Army career, he served in a variety of command and staff positions throughout the United States, Germany, the Netherlands, and Kosovo. His positions included deputy chief of staff for operations and intelligence, Kosovo Force; director of force management, Office of Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans, Headquarters Department of the Army; and commanding general, U.S. Army Field Artillery Center and Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Ralston still serves as the Army’s senior facilitator for the “How the Army Runs” course presented to all new army general officers. He holds a Harvard fellowship in national security, a master of arts in public administration, and a bachelor of science in business administration.

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