Transitional Justice and the Prosecution of Political Leaders in the Arab Region

A Comparative Study of Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Yemen

Transitional Justice and the Prosecution of Political Leaders in the Arab Region

The dramatic uprisings that ousted the long-standing leaders of several countries in the Arab region set in motion an unprecedented period of social, political and legal transformation. Les mer
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Transitional Justice and the Prosecution of Political Leaders in the Arab Region

The dramatic uprisings that ousted the long-standing leaders of several countries in the Arab region set in motion an unprecedented period of social, political and legal transformation. The prosecution of political leaders took centre stage in the pursuit of transitional justice following the 'Arab Spring'. Through a comparative case study of Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Yemen, this book argues that transitional justice in the Arab region presents the strongest challenge yet to the transitional justice paradigm. This paradigm is built on the underlying assumption that transitions constitute a shift from non-liberal to liberal democratic regimes, where often legal measures are taken to address atrocities committed during the prior regime. The book is guided by two principal questions: first, what trigger and driving factors led to the decision of whether or not to prosecute former political leaders? And second, what shaping factors affected the content and extent of decisions regarding prosecution? In answering these questions, the book enhances our understanding of how transitional justice is pursued by different actors in varied contexts. In doing so, it challenges the predominant understanding that transitional justice uniformly occurs in liberalising contexts and calls for a re-thinking of transitional justice theory and practice.

Using original findings generated from almost 50 interviews across 4 countries, this research builds on the growing critical literature that claims that transitional justice is an under-theorised field and needs to be developed to take into account non-liberal and complex transitions. It will be stimulating and thought-provoking reading for all those interested in transitional justice and the 'Arab Spring'.

1. Introduction
Significance of the Arab Regio4
Significance of Pre-transition Decisions Regarding Prosecution
The Arab Region: Rethinking Transitional Justice Scholarship
The Absence of a 'Return to a Liberal State'
The Necessity of Pre-existing Democratic Institutions
Critical Transitional Justice Literature
Socio-economic Accountability and Transitional Justice
Transitional Justice and the Arab Spring: Emerging Scholarship
Methodology
Challenges
An Expanded Definition of 'Political Leaders'
Case Selection
Structure of the Book
Conclusion
2. Egypt
Summary of Post-2011 Prosecutions
The Prosecution of Political Leaders in Pre-transition Egypt
Content and Extent of Prosecutions in Post-transition Egypt
A Military-Controlled Transition
Egypt's Judicial Struggle for Independence
Other Legal Challenges to Prosecutions of Political Leaders
Popular Demands for Accountability
Prosecutions: A Scapegoating Strategy
The Socio-economic Roots of the Transition
The Role of Workers' Movements and Labour Unions
The Role of International Actors
The Role of Domestic Human Rights Civil Society Organisations
Conclusion
Triggers
Drivers
Shapers
3. Tunisia
The Prosecution of Political Leaders in Pre-transition Tunisia
The Baraket Essahel Case: The Prosecution of Abdallah Qallel
The Case of General Habib Ammar
The Khaled Ben Said Case
Content and Extent of Prosecutions in Post-transition Tunisia
A Transition Muddled by the Anciens Nouveaux
Workers' Movements and Labour Unions: The Leading Role of the UGTT
Legal Challenges
The Role of International Actors
The Role of Domestic Civil Society
Conclusion
Triggers
Drivers
Shapers
4. Libya
Case 630/2012-The Trial of 37 Former Members of the Gaddafi Regime
The Prosecution of Political Leaders in Pre-transition Libya
The Search for Accountability for Abu Salim
Politicised Courts and the Prioritisation of 'Security'
Content and Extent of Prosecutions in Post-transition Libya
A Weak Judiciary Under Threat
The Role of International Actors
The Role of Domestic Civil Society
Conclusion
Triggers
Drivers
Shapers
5. Yemen
The Prosecution of Political Leaders in Pre-transition Yemen
The Decision Not to Pros

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