In The Trial of Hissein Habré: The International Crimes of a Former Head of State, Emmanuel Guematcha recounts the trial of Hissein Habré, the former head of state of Chad. Accused of committing crimes against humanity, war crimes, and torture while ruling Chad between 1982 and 1990, Hissein Habré was tried in Dakar, Senegal, by the Extraordinary African Chambers. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2016 and the sentence was confirmed in 2017. . In a narrative style, Guematcha examines the process that led to this achievement in Africa, including the failed attempts to try Hissein Habré in the Senegalese, Chadian, and Belgian courts. Guematcha discusses the mobilization of victims and the involvement of nongovernmental and international organizations. He describes the particularities of the Extraordinary African Chambers, analyzes the establishment of Hissein Habré’s criminal responsibility, and presents the trial through the testimonies of several victims, witnesses, and experts. These testimonies shed light on what it means for individuals to be subjected to international crimes. The author also questions the impact and significance of the trial in Africa and beyond.
Emmanuel Guematcha is senior lecturer of international law at the University of French Guiana and lecturer of transitional justice at the University of Paris–Nanterre.
List of key abbreviations
Chapter 1. The Tortuous Paths to the Trial of Hissein Habré
Chapter 2. The Construction of the Legal Framework of the Hissein Habre Trial: The Extraordinary African Chambers (EAC)
Chapter 3. The Investigation Phase
Chapter 4. The Trial in the Courtroom
Chapter 5. The Context of the Commission of the Crimes: The History of Chad in the Trial
Chapter 6. The Machinery of Crimes and the Central Role of the DDS (Directorate of Documentation and Security)
Chapter 7. Victims Sharing Their Experiences of International Crimes: Repetitive Pattern of the Process of Crimes Reported by Survivors
Chapter 8. Consequences and Sequels of Crimes
Chapter 9. Was Hissein Habré Criminally Responsible?
Chapter 10. The Judgment
Chapter 11. The Appeal
Chapter 12. Beyond Individual Responsibility: Was the Hissein Habré Trial a Contribution for Social Peace and Reconciliation in Chad?
Chapter 13. The Hissein Habré’s Trial Significance in the Global Fight against Impunity in Africa: African Justice or Foreigners Justice
Conclusion: Human Criminal Justice
“The Trial of Hissein Habré is a reference book in the field of international criminal law. The author of this book, an academic from Africa, provides a well-documented account on the continental contribution to this branch, in addition to that already made in the adoption and the implementation of the Rome Statute of the ICC. This book illustrates the complementary role of regionalism in addressing the global challenge of impunity. For all these reasons, I would recommend it to academics, students, and practitioners interested in this matter.”