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Norman + Dawbarn to design Sierra Leone war crimes court

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London-based Norman + Dawbarn has won an international competition to design a war crimes court for Sierra Leone (pictured).

It saw off competition from 40 practices - including the Richard Rogers Partnership - in the race to draw up plans for the United Nations courthouse.

The site will gain international attention as the stage for a series of trials relating to the human rights violations during the country's recent rebellion. The court buildings will include a trial chamber, an appeals chamber, both with public galleries for 150 persons, detention cells, translation booths and full broadcasting facilities.

The Special Court's chair, Deborah Chatsis, said that the development would mark a moment in the country's history. 'The structure will remain after the court has finished its work and be a landmark for Sierra Leoneans, marking the end of an era of impunity, ' she added.

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