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Justice in Syria Must Go Beyond the Courtroom, ICTJ Says: The war in Syria rages on as the most documented in history, with thousands of photos, videos, and testimonies circulating in the public sphere and countless more otherwise accessible. This information holds enormous potential: it could offer paths to justice for victims and their communities through acknowledgement, the fulfillment of their right to truth, and of course through criminal justice proceedings. However, if this wealth of information is to be properly leveraged, those fighting for justice should broaden their focus beyond the courtroom and take concrete actions now.

A new paper released today by the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) challenges the notion that criminal prosecution is the sole use for documentation of violations in Syria. The paper, titled Justice for Syrian Victims Beyond Trials,”urges the international community, human rights groups and Syrian civil society organizations to use the tools at their disposal to pursue overlooked avenues towards justice. These include the search for the truth, public acknowledgement of violations, and laying the foundation for future truth-seeking and truth-telling processes or reparations process.

The paper grew out of ICTJ’s involvement with the Save Syrian Schools project, an unprecedented collaboration between ICTJ and ten Syrian partner organizations documenting the destruction of schools in the conflict and aiming to expose their impact and long-term harms. The project will host a public hearing-style event in Geneva on March 22 which will gather a global audience of activists, policy makers, international organizations, and more to hear the stories of those affected by the violations and affirm their dignity.

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Justice in Syria Must Go Beyond the Courtroom, ICTJ Says: The war in Syria rages on as the most documented in history, with thousands of photos, videos, and testimonies circulating in the public sphere and countless more otherwise accessible. This information holds enormous potential: it could offer paths to justice for victims and their communities through acknowledgement, the fulfillment of their right to truth, and of course through criminal justice proceedings. However, if this wealth of information is to be properly leveraged, those fighting for justice should broaden their focus beyond the courtroom and take concrete actions now.