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Archives for General Articles on Special Courts





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Bosnia to Try Its War Criminals, But Is New Court Up to the Job? (December 23, 2003)
In an effort to aid the UN tribunal in the Hague, Bosnia will set up a court to try lower case war criminals. To counter previously raised criticism of local courts' lack of impartiality, the war crimes chamber will be a component of the state court with a panel of foreign judges working with Bosnians. (Christian Science Monitor)

"King of Beasts" To Stand Trial (December 19, 2003)
A Dutch court will try a former army colonel in the Congolese Garde Civil, accused of torture during the reign of Mobuto Sese Seko in the 1990s. Dutch law allows local authorities to try foreign war crime suspects who are in the Netherlands. (Institute for War and Peace Reporting)

Afghan War Criminals Still Unpunished (December 9, 2003)
Warlords who committed crimes against humanity during Afghanistan's 23 years of war go unpunished. The unstable security situation in the country and the continuing influence of these perpetrators prevents investigation and indictment. (BBC)

Was Jose Couso's Death in Iraq a War Crime? (October 20, 2003)
The Spanish National Audience considers a "war crime" complaint against three soldiers of the US army. Colleagues of Jose Couso argue that the soldiers deliberately opened fire on the Palestine Hotel full of international journalists. The court hearing comes after months of refusal from the Spanish government to inquire into the case. (Le Monde)

Face to Face with those he Tormented: War Crimes Trial for Tyrant of Chad (October 17, 2003)
The former dictator of Chad, Hissene Habre will face a war crimes trial for his crimes against humanity during his eight year rule. Daniel Fransen, a Belgium magistrate continues his investigations in Chad and expects to pursue a formal indictment soon. (Independent)

Justice Undone: Many Afghans Want War Criminals to Go on Trial (June 13, 2003)
As Afghanistan attempts to establish the rule of law throughout the country, its people debate how best to prosecute the war criminals of almost 25 years of conflict. (Institute for War and Peace Reporting)

Police Call for World Terrorism Tribunal (April 29, 2003)
The Australian Federal Police Commissioner suggests a special international tribunal that would only deal with terrorist suspects. He implied that many countries' criminal justice systems were ill-equipped to deal with the unique threat of terrorism but wished to avoid the problems of Guantanamo Bay where suspects are offered no legal recourse. (Sydney Morning Herald)

Council of Europe Demands Chechnya Tribunal (April 14, 2003)
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe voted to set up an international tribunal for Chechnya if the human rights situation in the republic doesn't improve. Despite the vote, the current situation in Russia and the world means an international tribunal for Chechnya may not become a reality in the near future. (Institute for War and Peace Reporting)

How the Butcher of Baghdad Was Given Free Rein (January 24, 2003)
Jeri Laber of Human Rights Watch writes that human rights activists have been calling attention to the crimes of Saddam Hussein's regime for many years, while those who now mobilize for his violent removal looked the other way. (The Age)




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No Quick Justice for Afghan War Crimes, UN Says (October 23, 2002)
UN rapporteur for Afghanistan says that although the Afghani people are collectively rebuilding the country, investigations into war crimes committed by all sides "could only begin after an overhaul of Afghanistan's deeply flawed justice system." (Agence France Presse)

Saddam's 'Dirty Dozen' (October 7, 2002)
The US is already seeking a 3-tier tribunal system to deal with Saddam-era war crimes in a post-Saddam Iraq. "The US would look hypocritical if it asked for a UN-mandated war crimes tribunal," while opposing the International Criminal Court, comments the Los Angeles Times.

Genocide Expert Lauds War Crimes Court (September 28, 2002)
Former prosecutor at the Nuremberg tribunals Benjamin Ferencz dismisses the US arguments against the ICC. As Washington is considering going to war against Iraq, Ferencz shows the irony in the government's refusal to back the court, as Saddam Hussein could have been tried in an international tribunal. (Journal News)

Afghan War Crimes a Low Priority (September 12, 2002)
The Christian Science Monitors deplores the apparent lack of willingness from some Western diplomats, UN and Afghan officials to fully investigate the alleged war crimes that took place in Dasht-e Leili.

War Crimes in Kisangani (August 20, 2002)
In a new report, Human Rights Watch identifies top commanders of the Rwandan-backed RCD rebel movement implicated in the massacres in Kisangani, and calls for their prosecution for war crimes. The report also questions whether the UN Mission in the DRC (MONUC) "failed to carry out its mandate to protect civilians."

Florida Jury Finds Salvadoran Generals Liable for Torture, Awards $54.6 Million to Victims (July 23, 2002)
A US court has condemned two Salvadoran generals for allowing torture and killings of civilians in El Salvador between 1979-83. This decision, setting up an important precedent, "is one of the few cases since the Tokyo trials following World War II in which a foreign commander has been held liable under the doctrine of command responsibility for war crimes committed by his troops." (Center for Justice & Accountability)




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A Tribunal for Israel (August 7, 2001)
Paul Foot questions the justification for the UN tribunals established for Yugoslavia and Rwanda, considering that violations of their criminal codes occur daily in Israel, and yet there is no discussion of establishing a tribunal there. (Guardian)

Judging Genocide: Arusha and the Hague (June 14, 2001)
This article analyzes both the success and criticism of the two tribunals established by the UN for Yugoslavia and Rwanda, and discusses the potential of the soon to be established International Criminal Court. (The Economist)

Report Says UN-Paid Lawyers May Be Splitting Fees (April 1, 2001)
Some attorneys may be offering their clients expensive gifts because of the competition among lawyers in the UN tribunals, a UN investigation reports.(Associated Press)

One Woman, 13 Men Elected to UN War Crimes Court (March 19, 2001)
That's a fact. But the result of the vote was influenced by how much lobbying each nation undertook for its candidate. Furthermore, women's groups are upset about the lack of female candidates (Reuters).




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UN Team Visits Camp for Child Soldiers (October 12, 2000)
The UK Ambassador to the Security Council said that no child regarded as a victim of the war, even if he had been fighting, would face a UN war crimes tribunal. (IRIN)




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The US Undermines International Law (December, 1999)
An essay criticizing the US's role in invalidating institutions such as the Criminal Court and The United Nations as the appropriate authorities and arbiters of International law. (Le Monde Diplomatique)



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