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Closing Ceremony of the Special Court for Sierra Leone

Closing of the Special Court for Sierra Leone a great day for international justice. UK contributes £100,000 to help secure the legacy.

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Peter West

UK High Commissioner to Sierra Leone Peter West

The UK High Commissioner attended the Closing Ceremony of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) held in Freetown today and announced a UK contribution of £100,000 to the Residual Special Court.

The High Commissioner said:

It is my great privilege to attend the Closing Ceremony of the Special Court of Sierra Leone today, the first international court to complete its mandate. It is fitting that His Excellency President Koroma is hosting us to commemorate this remarkable achievement which marks another milestone of which Sierra Leone can be justly proud. “The Court has made an extraordinary contribution to international justice and the fight against impunity. Its jurisprudence on sexual violence in armed conflict has set international benchmarks. And it has sent a clear signal that those who commit the most horrific atrocities, including rape, sexual slavery and forced prostitution will be brought to justice regardless of their position. I would like to add my congratulations and gratitude to the legal teams, judges, and staff of the Court for their tireless and dedicated work over the last 10 years. And I am proud that the United Kingdom has been the second largest bilateral donor to the Special Court over its lifetime.

The new Residual Special Court will soon take up the ongoing functions of the Court such as witness protection and managing the sentences of the convicted. This will be essential to securing the legacy of the Court and will rely on voluntary contributions from donors. So I am delighted to announce that the UK will be contributing £100,000 to the Residual Special Court and I urge other states to consider making their own contributions. We look forward to continuing to work with the people and government of Sierra Leone as they build a peaceful and secure future for their country.

Published 2 December 2013