Supporting Transitional Justice Capacities of the South Sudan Supreme Court

Following South Sudan’s independence from Sudan in July 2011, unresolved conflicts within the leadership of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), particularly between President Salva Kiir and (then) Vice-President Riek Machar, deteriorated into armed confrontation on 15 December 2013. The conflict soon spread beyond Juba to several other states in South Sudan. The breakaway forces loyal to Riek Machar came to be known as the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – In Opposition (SPLM-IO). The fighting has so far claimed tens of thousands of lives and displaced over two million people. Efforts to bring this conflict to an end were spearheaded by the regional Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), in collaboration with a broad group of mediators. These efforts culminated in the signing of the Compromise Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (also known as the IGAD-plus Agreement) in August 2015.

In cooperation with the Supreme Court of South Sudan, and with the financial support of the German Federal Foreign Office, the Max Planck Foundation is implementing a project to provide technical assistance and capacity building to the members of the South Sudan Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal in readiness for their participation in the transitional justice mechanisms outlined in Chapter V of the IGAD-plus Agreement.

In line with the common objectives of facilitating truth, reconciliation and healing, compensation and reparation in South Sudan (Article 1.3, Chapter V, IGAD-plus Agreement), the aim of this project is to contribute towards strengthening the technical legal knowledge and jurisdictional capacities of the Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal in the field of transitional justice. Thereby, the project seeks to strengthen judicial remedial avenues to enable the courts to deal with violations committed during the most recent conflict in South Sudan.