Documenting Human Rights Abuses and Transitional Justice in Syria

The Syrian war is the most documented conflict in history. But is documentation paving the way for justice? Drawing on new research from the Conflict Research Programme, the panel will discuss the current gaps in documentation and ways to address them. 

A new paper from the Conflict Research Programme (CRP), Documentation of human rights violations and transitional justice in Syria: gaps and ways to address them, shows how the documentation efforts of international actors and civil society are already shaping the prospects for transitional justice in Syria. There are significant gaps in the documentation required both for accountability processes and for reparative and restorative justice. The event will discuss how to address these gaps and build a solid foundation for holding perpetrators to account and providing recognition and redress to victims.

Download the paper here.



This event was held on 20 November 2020.


Salma Kahale is a Syrian feminist and social justice activist with over 15 years of experience in youth engagement, women’s rights and transitional justice. She has worked in several countries in the Middle East developing and implementing national policies on child protection and youth mobilisation. For the past six years, Salma has been the Executive Director of Dawlaty, leading its work on inclusive justice, civic engagement and campaigning with families and survivors of detention and disappearance.

Sema Nassar, a human rights defender, has worked for the past 9 years to follow up on the files and fate of detainees and disappeared persons in Syria, and to monitor and document the violations committed against them with a focus on documenting violence against women. Sema is co-founder of Urnammu for Justice and Human Rights and the “WE” network, a framework to create a safe environment for women human rights defenders in the MENA region.

Ibrahim Olabi is the founder of the Syrian Legal Development Programme, a NGO working on fighting impunity in Syria and the promotion of the rule of law since 2014. Ibrahim is also a barrister at Guernica 37, International Justice Chambers. He previously worked as a consultant to the UN OHCHR and the International Bar Association on Syria related matters.

Iavor Rangelov is Assistant Professorial Research Fellow at LSE IDEAS. He chairs the Governing Board of the Humanitarian Law Center, Belgrade, and co-chairs the London Transitional Justice Network. Iavor has published extensively in the areas of transitional justice, human rights and security, and civil society in a variety of contexts.

Ruti Teitel is the Ernst C. Stiefel Professor of Comparative Law at New York Law School and Visiting Professor at Hebrew University.  Ruti is the founding co-chair of the American Society of International Law, Interest Group on Transitional Justice and Rule of Law, and a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She is the author of path-breaking books in transitional justice, human rights and international law, including Transitional Justice and Humanity’s Law.

Rim Turkmani (@Rim_Turkmani) is the Research Director for the Conflict Research Programme work in Syria.