On May 29, 2018, Central African Republic’s National Assembly formally adopted the Rules of Procedure and Evidence for the Special Criminal Court (SCC), the final hurdle to formally operationalize the Court. The SCC is set to begin investigations in the second half of the year.
The SCC was created on June 3, 2015, when former interim President of the Central African Republic (CAR) Catherine Samba-Panza promulgated organic law 15/003 establishing the Court to try international crimes within the domestic courts in CAR. The SCC applies both national and international law and employs a combination of international and national staff including the Special Prosecutor, Toussaint Muntazini Mukimapa, from the Democratic Republic of Congo. According to CAR Organic Law 15/003, the SCC is “authorized to investigate, prosecute, and try serious violations of human rights and serious violations of international humanitarian law . . . in particular the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.” The SCC’s temporal jurisdiction extends back to January 1, 2003, covering the time period in which violence occurred under the reign of Francois Bozizé and the subsequent inter-communal violence that has plagued the country since 2012. The SCC aims to end widespread impunity in CAR for atrocities including widespread sexual and gender-based violence. Investigations are set to start during the second half of this year. More information about the SCC can be found at its new website.