Since 2018, PJI lawyer Maxine Marcus has been serving as a member of the Justice Advisory Group for South Sudan, established by the Ferencz International Justice Initiative of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Through this Justice Advisory Group, the PJI Legal Team collaborates in providing advisory support to a coalition of local justice actors who are working toward accountability in their own communities.
PJI’s history supporting justice in South Sudan began with a documentation training Ms. Marcus carried out with the support of No Peace Without Justice for the South Sudan Law Society in 2014. The participants represented a broad range of civil society organisations working toward documentation and protection of human rights in South Sudan, and many of these organisations ultimately joined together to form the Transitional Justice Working Group (TJWG). The TJWG is a coalition of local justice actors in civil society who are working collaboratively toward the implementation of the Peace Agreement, in particular advocating for the provisions on transitional justice to be speedily activated.
The PJI Legal Team continues to provide advisory support to TJWG through participation in the Justice Advisory Group. By way of example, in 2019, Ms. Marcus led a capacity building workshop on building emblematic case files in anticipation of accountability processes and on building cases involving sexual violence as international crimes. These workshops were attended by the TJWG, members of the Government of South Sudan, members of the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan, as well as by members of the UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan.
The PJI Legal Team also provided expert guidance to the UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan regarding the development of their methodology for investigation in 2017 and 2019. The methodology of the Commission’s investigation was directly informed by this advice.