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The Making of International Criminal JusticeThe View from the Bench: Selected Speeches$
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Theodor Meron

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199608935

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199608935.001.0001

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Anatomy of an International Criminal Tribunal (Manley O Hudson Medal Lecture)

Anatomy of an International Criminal Tribunal (Manley O Hudson Medal Lecture)

(p.98) 9 Anatomy of an International Criminal Tribunal (Manley O Hudson Medal Lecture)
The Making of International Criminal Justice

Theodor Meron

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the ad hoc Tribunals on whose Appeals Chambers the author serves — the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). It discusses how the Tribunals actually work. The ad hoc Tribunals' anatomy is not just the sum of many disjointed solutions to disconnected practical problems. Rather, this anatomy has developed, in significant part, as a result of two broad considerations. The first is the need to ensure substantive and procedural fairness and to ensure that the Tribunals are perceived as acting legitimately. The second is the fact that the Tribunals exist outside the framework of any state, and that they therefore must function in the absence of any corresponding legislative or executive body. Despite these challenges, the Tribunals have done a good job of ensuring both fairness and efficacy outside the framework of a state. Over the past decade, in dozens of trials and appeals, the ICTY and ICTR have shown that it is possible and practical to apply international criminal and humanitarian law in actual cases — not just a few times, as at Nuremberg and Tokyo, but repeatedly, and in a manner even more rigorous than that employed at the post-World War II trials. The Tribunals have also helped to instill the idea that justice, not retribution or impunity, should be the response to horrific crimes.

Keywords:   ad hoc tribunals, former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, international criminal law, international humanitarian law, justice

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