28 January, 2014

The International Criminal Tribunals

Former Yugoslavia:

In May 2012, I blogged about the Ratko Mladic trial before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) - Ratko Mladić - Trial at the ICTY   His trial commenced on 16th May 2012 and updates on the trial are available via the ICTY website - Mladic.  Judgment in his case is expected in November 2017.

The other particularly notable trial, again still on-going, is that of  Radovan Karadzic - see ICTY Karadzic  - his trial commenced on 26 October 2009.  His trial has concluded and judgment is expected in the first quarter of 2016.

It is reported that Mladic refused to testify for the defence in Karadzic's trial - The Guardian 28th January 2014.   "Karadzic had a list of six questions he wanted to ask of Mladic, focusing on the general's knowledge of the Srebrenica massacre and the Serb siege of the capital Sarajevo, and how much of that information he had passed to Karadzic.  Karadzic was expected to argue that the two had no common plan and that he was unaware of his most senior general's activities, and so could not be held personally responsible for the worst bloodshed in Europe since the second world war.  Mladic gave the same response in answer to each question: "I cannot and do not wish to testify ... because it would impair my health and prejudice my own case," he said, offering instead to read a seven-page statement he said he had written the previous evening – an offer the judges refused.  Proceedings were complete after less than two hours and Mladic was led out, exchanging nods with Karadzic."

The ICTY's website pages on 20 Years of International Justice are particularly interesting. 

For lawyers,
a new search tool is available to assist with online research into the vast collection of jurisprudence produced by the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). The ICTR/ICTY Case Law Database (CLD) will be an invaluable aid to professionals working in the field of international criminal law.

Facts and Figures about ICTY and its work are available in this Infographic


The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda continues to sit but is now concerned only with appeals.  On 13th November 2013, the Tribunal reported to the UN Secretary-General regarding a "completion strategy" for the tribunals' work.


The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia also continue their work.   The website introduces the work of the chambers.  Perhaps the most notable of the cases has been that of Kaing Guek Eav (alias Duch) which I blogged about in July 2010 - The Killing Fields of Cambodia - Justice at last

Sierra Leone:

The Special Court for Sierra Leone was set up jointly by the Government of Sierra Leone and the United Nations. Its mandate was to try those who bear the greatest responsibility for serious violations of international humanitarian law and Sierra Leonean law committed in the territory of Sierra Leone since 30 November 1996.

The website of the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone, containing electronic records of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, www.rscsl.org, was formally launched on 31 December 2013. Please refer to that website for updated information on the RSCSL and information on the SCSL.

With regard to Charles Taylor see his Wikipedia entry.  Taylor was transferred from The Hague to the UK to serve his sentence of imprisonment.

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