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(Re)Building the Rule of Law after Identity-Based Conflict: What Responsibility to Protect Practitioners Will Confront

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Identity-based conflicts wreak havoc on core institutions crucial to protecting human rights and preventing further conflict. As part of the Responsibility to Protect, international actors must work smarter when it comes to rebuilding the judiciaries, police, penitentiary systems and security forces. Organised crime, rampant gender-based violence, demobilised combatants, internally displaced people and thousands of international peacekeepers characterise the post-conflict environment. This article tries to identify the key challenges facing both national authorities and the international officials who must rebuild after such horrific crimes. Some good practices identified over the course of many post-conflict peace operations are offered along with concrete examples from countries as diverse as Haiti, Kosovo, Timor Leste and Liberia. Caution is the watchword, however, as the aftermath of genocide and mass atrocity crimes should humble even the most seasoned practitioners.


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