A Step towards Justice: Current accountability options for crimes under international law committed in Syria

As the war in Syria enters its fifth year with no end in sight, the need to establish some form of accountability to address allegations of mass atrocities committed by both government forces and armed opposition groups remains pressing. A Step towards Justice: Current accountability options for crimes under international law committed in Syria is the first report to offer a detailed examination of the mechanisms available to deliver justice to the Syrian people while the conflict goes on.

Drawing on comprehensive legal analysis, the joint report by the Ceasefire Centre for Civilian Rights and the Syria Justice and Accountability Centre (SJAC) evaluates the potential avenues towards securing accountability for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Syria, including massacres of civilians, indiscriminate aerial bombardment, enforced disappearances, systematic torture, rape, and the use of children in hostilities.

While there are constraints on the current feasibility of the most prominent mechanisms, including domestic courts and the International Criminal Court, as well as alternative mechanisms such as hybrid tribunals, the use of foreign national courts remains open.