What We Do
The only good thing about the wars is that they eventually end. Sometimes it takes longer, but eventually, one day, the end of conflict comes to any conflict society. And when it does, victims scream for justice, perpetrators trying to escape, and society looking to find a way how to rebuild and make common ground for a better future.
There are many ways to do this, but one thing is for sure. There are only two foundations used to build upon this new, better, society.
Those are Truth and Justice.
Both heavily contested in post-conflict societies, both from victims and perpetrators, they represent values destroyed by the wrongdoings in the conflict, upon which rebuilding society depends for moving on.
The question is how.
While there are other ways than courts (scientific research, truth commission, administrative actions…), courts have one, uncontested advantage over any other mechanism. Their decisions are final and binding – for everybody, victims, and perpetrators. That is not to say that those decisions are uncontested or easily accepted in post-conflict societies, but no matter how much they are contested by the politicians, genocide deniers, media, or perpetrators, nothing of that contesting cannot even “touch” them.
So, no matter how hard and painful facts established “beyond reasonable doubt” in the final court judgements are, those facts are the solid ground for building new societies, and if the post-conflict society does not find the strength for other forms of justice, these judgements are only solid ground.
That is what it is all about.
That is what this database is all about.
It is about collecting and presenting data from the final judgements of the courts dealing with war crimes committed in conflict-affected societies, objective, unbiased, and as established by the competent courts.
By doing that, this database is offering the post-conflict societies the basis for the reconciliation on the grounds of the established facts and finding the ways to accept them and incorporate them into the wider social context. It is not an easy task, but even the most difficult journey starts with the first step, and this database can be one.
To the other “interested parties” (researchers, journalists, citizens of the post-conflict societies …), this is a valuable source of, otherwise scattered, information on war crimes committed in conflict areas of the world and important ground for further work on the understanding and prevention of the future conflicts.