PERREAULT Magazine October 2014 - Page 33

After five years, JRR has 76 participating States, more than 30 institutions and organizations and a specially trained roster of over 450 criminal justice and related professionals from almost 90 countries and every region of the world. With the strategic guidance and oversight of an Executive Board of countries currently consisting of Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Finland, The Netherlands, Sierra Leone, Sweden, Switzerland and Uganda, JRR continues to work to improve the investigation of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and serious human rights violations.

JRR has been able to demonstrate that it is possible to have professional, specifically trained, impartial investigators available promptly every time and anywhere there is a need to investigate these atrocities. This standard gives hope that one day the investigation of the worst crimes known to humanity will be as automatically expected as the investigation of any domestic crime.

BP: Andras, you have said that essentially JRR exists “to make very bad people nervous”. What do you mean by that?

AVG: If you ask yourself who the worst people you can imagine are, I am pretty sure you would include those who plan and commit genocide; who order or condone large-scale murder of civilians; those who ruthlessly order their soldiers to use rape as a tool of war to spread fear and misery. It is these people that we, at JRR want to make nervous. How do we do that? By making sure that they can be held to account for their crimes. We focus on getting the investigations right – something that too often has been neglected. Without evidence that is properly collected and preserved, the truth will not come out, and the perpetrators are likely to get away with these crimes. Without such accountability goes any chance of justice being done for the victims, or demonstrating to would-be future perpetrators that international justice has real credibility. And any chance of stopping the cycle of violence that repeatedly plagues societies that ignore the need for justice.

It should be common sense that you cannot wait until these crimes take place to start looking for people who can do the investigation, hope they have appropriate training, and pray that there is some way to send them quickly to where they are needed. You have to have all this in place up-front, like we have in domestic criminal justice systems. It is what JRR does, making it possible to respond quickly and professionally whenever there is a need to investigate mass atrocities. So we can start to see the tables turn on those ordering or condoning the atrocities we often helplessly watch on television. It means that those really responsible will stop getting away with it with greater frequency. This is what I mean by making very bad people nervous: we want those in power to know that if they spread horror and misery, trained professionals from all over the world are poised to help bring you to account.

Perreault Magazine - 33 -

Continued on page 34

“It is unacceptable that while we demand prompt, professional investigations of crimes in our neighbourhoods, we have to accept a much lower standard for the worst crimes known to humanity. Justice Rapid Response exists because the investigation of crimes like genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity have to be done right in order to get justice for victims and deter future offenders.”

- Andras Vamos-Goldman