This path-breaking volume presents broad guidelines and specific prescriptions for combating serious crime in societies emerging from conflict. 

 

"This groundbreaking publication will be an invaluable tool in the hands of those facing the challenges of restructuring postconflict societies. Put together by seasoned practitioners and distinguished scholars, it explains what approaches have and haven’t worked, discusses the kinds of resources required, and provides a rich fund of practical examples and references...This book should be on the desk of every chief of mission and international official tasked with rebuilding societies traumatized by conflict."
— Jacques Paul Klein, former Chief of United Nations Operations in Croatia (UNTAES), Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIB), and Liberia (UNOMIL)

This path-breaking volume fills a major gap in the literature on efforts to rebuild societies emerging from conflict. Drawing on firsthand experience in tackling organized and other destabilizing crime in Kosovo, Bosnia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere, it distills that practical, hard-won knowledge into lessons and guidance for policymakers and practitioners who must face similar challenges. No similar work exists anywhere.

"Serious crimes" include any and all criminal acts that threaten post-conflict security, hinder political and economic reconstruction, or undermine public trust in nascent criminal justice institutions. From money laundering to murder, drug trafficking to terrorism, these crimes flourish where governments are impotent or officials are themselves complicit in illegal activities. Their impact on post-conflict societies of all types can be profoundly damaging--but they can be dealt with.

More than forty seasoned practitioners--judges and generals, prosecutors and human rights activists, scholars and government officials from across the world--participated in the discussions that generated the broad guidelines and more specific prescriptions presented in this handbook. Each of its chapters covers a different area of activity--initial assessment, reform of the legal framework, institutional reform, investigation and prosecution of serious crimes, and foreign assistance--providing not only general guidance but also real-life examples to illustrate the importance of adapting to local circumstances.

Easy to read and easy to use, with checklists and sidebars supplementing the succinct text, Combating Serious Crimes will be greatly appreciated by governments, international and regional organizations, and foreign assistance providers throughout the world. The police, judges, prosecutors, defense counsel and peacekeepers who address serious crimes on a day-to-day basis in post-conflict states will likewise find the book invaluable.

About the Editor and Contributors

Colette Rausch is Director of the United States Institute of Peace's Rule of Law Center. She directed the Department of Human Rights and the Rule of Law in the OSCE's mission in Kosovo, and worked for the U.S. Department of Justice on criminal justice projects throughout the Balkans.

Elaine Banar is chief of the Asset Forfeiture Unit at the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of New York. She was special legal advisor on organized crime matters for UNMIK and helped establish the first witness protection program in the Balkans.

Kristen Fennel worked for the U.S. Department of State's Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. She helped develop and implement rule of law and police assistance programs in Kosovo, Bosnia, Albania, Indonesia, and East Timor.

Adalbert Gross is a senior police officer of the state of North-Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. He headed the Local Police Development Section of the UN IPTF in Sarajevo, and was UNMIK police deputy commissioner in Kosovo.

Michael E. Hartmann is advisor to the attorney general of Afghanistan for the U.S. State Department/INL Bureau Justice Sector Support Program. He was the first UN-appointed international public prosecutor for Kosovo and previously served with UNMIBH.

Deborah Isser is Senior Counsel in the Justice Reform Practice Group at the World Bank. Previously, she was a senior rule of law advisor with the United States Institute of Peace's Rule of Law Center. Also, she was senior policy adviser at the Office of the High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, focusing on economic reform and organized crime.

Brigadier Andrew Mackay is commander of the British Army's 52 Infantry Brigade. His extensive experience in postconflict environments includes planning for IFOR, SFOR, and KFOR; overseeing justice and security reforms in Kosovo; and training police in Baghdad.

Vivienne O'Connor is a Senior Program Officer at the United States Institute of Peace Rule of Law Center. Previously, she was the Rule of Law project officer at the Irish Center for Human Rights and co-director (with Colette Rausch) of the Model Codes for Post-Conflict Criminal Justice Project. She lectures widely on human rights law.

Major General David C. Ralston is commanding general of the United States Army Field Artillery Center and School. He was KFOR's chief of staff for operations and intelligence and previously served in Bosnia.

Other Editions

Related Publications

Afghanistan’s Economic and Humanitarian Crises Turn Dire

Afghanistan’s Economic and Humanitarian Crises Turn Dire

Thursday, October 14, 2021

By:William Byrd, Ph.D.

Two months after the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, the country is grappling with twin economic and humanitarian crises the response to which has been complicated by international aid cutoffs, the freezing of Afghanistan’s foreign exchange reserves and sanctions on the militants. USIP’s William Byrd discusses the implications of these crises and the challenges to alleviating them.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Fragility & Resilience;Economics & Environment

Taliban Seek Recognition, But Offer Few Concessions to International Concerns

Taliban Seek Recognition, But Offer Few Concessions to International Concerns

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

By:Andrew Watkins;Ambassador Richard Olson;Asfandyar Mir, Ph.D.;Kate Bateman

Since taking power in August, the Taliban have repeatedly expressed the expectation that the international community will recognize their authority as the new government of Afghanistan and have taken several procedural steps to pursue recognition. But the group has done very little to demonstrate a willingness to meet the conditions put forward by Western powers and some regional states. USIP’s Andrew Watkins, Richard Olson, Asfandyar Mir and Kate Bateman assess the latest Taliban efforts to win international recognition, the position of Pakistan and other key regional players and options for U.S. policy to shape Taliban behavior and the engagement decisions of other international partners.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Policy;Reconciliation

China and the U.S. Exit from Afghanistan: Not a Zero-Sum Outcome

China and the U.S. Exit from Afghanistan: Not a Zero-Sum Outcome

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

By:Andrew Scobell, Ph.D.

It has become fashionable to characterize recent events in Afghanistan as a loss for the United States and a win for China. This zero-sum interpretation framed in the narrow context of U.S.-China relations is too simplistic and off the mark. The reality is far more complex and nuanced. The end of the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan and the collapse of that country’s pro-Western government do not automatically translate into significant Chinese gains, nor do they trigger a swift Beijing swoop to fill the vacuum in Kabul left by Washington.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Policy

What Does IS-K’s Resurgence Mean for Afghanistan and Beyond?

What Does IS-K’s Resurgence Mean for Afghanistan and Beyond?

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

By:Asfandyar Mir, Ph.D.

Last month’s bombing outside the Kabul airport was a devastating sign of the Islamic State of Khorasan Province’s (IS-K) recent resurgence. The group had already launched 77 attacks in the first four months of 2021 — an increase from 21 in the same period last year. This renewed capacity for mass-casualty attacks could further destabilize Afghanistan’s already precarious security situation, leaving both the new Taliban government and the United States with a vested interest in mounting an effective campaign to undercut IS-K’s presence in the region. 

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Violent Extremism

View All Publications