Betsy Popken Continues Syrian Transitional Justice Planning Efforts


San Francisco litigation associate Betsy Popken is continuing her innovative pro bono work with our pro bono partner, the Public International Law & Policy Group (PILPG). See previous story here.

Last month, Betsy participated in another round of post-Assad transition planning workshops with members of the Syrian opposition, this time in The Hague. The workshops consisted of roundtable discussions between transitional justice experts (including Paul Williams and Anna Triponel from PILPG) and Syrian opposition members (including members of the Syrian National Council, the Antalya Group, the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, the Kurdish National Council, the Assyrian Democratic Organization and independents).
The topic of the workshops was Transitional Justice in Post-Assad Syria, with a particular focus on prosecution mechanisms, truth and reconciliation commissions, victim compensation and minority concerns. Betsy led the discussion on Syrian Minority Groups & Transitional Justice.

"This was a significant effort by the Syrian opposition to plan a transitional justice framework for post-Assad Syria and to discuss justice-related tools that could potentially be used now to ease Assad from power—such as using amnesty to encourage defection and the possibility of a UN Security Council referral of the situation in Syria to the ICC," said Betsy.

She is currently drafting a report on the workshops, with potential recommendations for transitional justice in post-Assad Syria.