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10 ILSA J. Int'l & Comp. L. 283 (2003-2004)
Playing Hide and Seek with International Justice: What Went Wrong in Indonesia and East Timor

handle is hein.journals/ilsaic10 and id is 305 raw text is: PLAYING HIDE AND SEEK WITH
Stefanie Frease
I.  INTRODUCTION  .........................................   283
II.  BACKGROUND  ..........................................   284
IV. THE SPECIAL PANELS IN EAST TIMOR ........................ 289
V .  CONCLUSION  ...........................................  291
Presented at the panel discussion entitled, Arresting Indicted War
Criminals and Other International Justice Issues at the International
Law Association's, International Law Weekend, Oct. 23, 2003.
In discussing the justice processes used in Indonesia and East Timor to
hold individuals accountable for serious violations of international law com-
mitted in East Timor, it is important to emphasize that the problems are rooted
in politics not the rule of law. Political influence is what I'm going to focus on
because it goes to the core of the problems in Indonesia and East Timor and
provides a painful example of what can happen when a justice process becomes
deeply politicized.
Indonesia is a case study of what can go wrong when a country is pre-
maturely entrusted with the responsibility to try individuals for crimes it is
nowhere close to acknowledging. Indonesia also provides an important
example for the International Criminal Court and the principle of complemen-
tarity, and the real problems that can be encountered when an offending state
is given first (and perhaps only) crack at prosecuting offenders it really wants
to protect, not prosecute.
And, I'm going to talk about East Timor-a case study of what can happen
when a legal system is created on a rickety foundation, in which genuine politi-
cal will and necessary resources are lacking and make the process vulnerable to
influence and manipulation for broader geo-political interests. East Timor is
also a place where cries for justice from the population are loud-they want
Indonesian leaders to be held accountable, and yet East Timor's political leaders
prefer to override these demands in favor of what they hope will become a
strong economic and political relationship with the country's former occupier.

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