Justice Rapid Response provides a wide range of specialized expertise to assist national, regional and international accountability mechanisms with the jurisdiction or mandate to investigate, fact-find or carry out inquiries wherever mass atrocities may have occurred.
Created by States, today JRR is a multi-stakeholder facility that brings together States, international and regional institutions, civil society and the private sector. We are a flexible, cost-efficient, innovative resource to help the international community deliver on its commitment to ending impunity for such crimes.
Our mission goes beyond delivering credible, sustainable justice to victims and preventing future offenses. Our work is also raising the quality and speed of response to mass atrocities everywhere.
WHAT WE DO
Justice Rapid Response manages the rapid deployment of criminal justice and related professionals from a stand-by roster. Expertise can be requested by the international community to investigate, analyze and report on situations where serious human rights and international criminal violations have been reported.
The JRR roster is geographically and linguistically diverse, and contains a wide range of expertise, such as criminal investigations, prosecutions, forensic sciences, military expertise and sexual and gender based violence investigations. JRR recruits experts to its roster through courses developed and carried out in collaboration with the Institute for International Criminal Investigations (IICI).
The background and training of JRR experts enable them to contribute to a wide range of missions: direct assistance to States; human rights or international criminal law investigations; commissions of inquiry or fact finding commissions; internal investigations; and political missions, mediations and security sector reform assessments.
Requests for rapid deployment of experts on the JRR roster can come from States and international or regional organizations with appropriate jurisdiction, such as various parts of the United Nations system or the International Criminal Court. JRR makes such deployments possible by working closely with the experts and their employers.
Under international law, every country is responsible for investigating and prosecuting atrocities that could be classified as genocide, war crimes or crimes against humanity, that happen under its jurisdiction. Yet, it is the very countries which suffer from violent conflict where such crimes occur that have the least resources to carry out this highly specialized work. Nor has the international community been able to provide these countries with the prompt, professional, and specifically trained investigative assistance needed to bring justice to victims and deter future perpetrators.
JRR was created to respond to this gap between a State’s legal responsibilities in this regard and its inability to effectively carry out those responsibilities. In consultation with international institutions and civil societies, a number of States conceived of a way to “plug this gap” through the creation of JRR. In effect, JRR is an effort to pool the collective strengths of the entire international community in order to ensure that no investigation of a mass atrocity is denied the prompt, trained expertise it needs to succeed.
Since it began operations in 2009, JRR has built a growing roster of criminal justice professionals from all corners of the globe. These experts have been specifically trained to carry out investigations under international law and international circumstances in courses held all over the world. With its unique ability to make these experts available rapidly whenever there is an opportunity to investigate mass atrocities, JRR is “plugging the gap.”