The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and Fair Trial Rights: A Closer Look
In a recent article lamenting the perception of partiality created by an activist judge of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), one commentator observed the general lack of scrutiny to which the ICTY is being held in its treatment of the rights of the accused. He noted that it “is a court without legal critics: no complaint about its conduct may be made to the Human Rights Committee in Geneva or to the European Court [of Human Rights], and human rights lobbies have tended to look the other way.” Indeed, it is in a position that many governments, fatigued by what many of them consider to be cumbersome reporting obligations and troublesome individual complaints procedures under the United Nations treaty body system, would envy.
Key Words: accused; fair trial; human rights; International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
1 Member of the Law Society of Upper Canada and the New York Bar. The author, formerly a Legal Assistant at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, is now Legal Advisor to the International Service for Human Rights in Geneva. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author alone.