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The Travesty of Justice

publié le 5 oct. 2014 à 07:00 par Haïti lutte contre-impunité   [ mis à jour : 5 oct. 2014 à 07:01 ]

Impunity, Responsibility and Citizenship

October 20, 2014 : The Travesty of Justice

The Graduate Center - Rooms 9205 - 9206 / 6:00 - 8:00 PM

Haiti’s justice system functions in such paradoxical ways that it appears to reinforce impunity. Overcrowded jails are costly to maintain on an already tight budget while pretrial detention affects close to 90% of the prison population. Official executive rhetoric constantly reaffirms the independence of the judicial system when at the same time interference from Government and Parliament can free or detain defendants depending on their political ties. For the past twenty five years there has been an ongoing reform of the system on which millions are spent on international experts to review codes and procedures but with practically no results, while judges and prosecutors remain poorly trained, underpaid and subject to temptations and pressure by alleged criminals.

What are the causes of such a persistent situation in times of dictatorship or of “democratic transition”? What is the meaning of “the rule of law” under such circumstances? What is the meaning of justice for a historically marginalized majority?

The Henri Peyre French Institute
The Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue, Room 4204
New York, NY 10016-4309