8 Nw. U. J. Int'l Hum. Rts. 1 (2009)

handle is hein.journals/jihr8 and id is 1 raw text is: Copyright 2009 by Northwestern University School of Law                   Volume 8, Issue 1 (Fall 2009)
Northwestern Journal of International Human Rights
The Role of International Criminal Tribunals in
Promoting Respect for Fair Trial Rights
Wolfgang Schomburg*
I. INTRODUCTORY REMARKS
An accused party's access to fundamental fair trial rights is a key indicator of
equitability in any system of criminal justice, as proceedings lose their credibility and
integrity without the consistent application of due process standards.! However, to rely on
the notion of a fair trial without specifying exactly what that notion encompasses
would leave inalienable human rights to the (at times arbitrary) discretion of decision
makers.
This article analyzes how the two United Nations ad hoc Tribunals, the
International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International
Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), have defined the notion of a fair trial by adopting
the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 16 December
1966 (ICCPR).2 These International Tribunals were established to protect human rights of
victims by bringing former untouchables-individuals who were alleged to have
committed grave crimes but had been shielded from prosecution-to justice. However,
the tribunals must also provide for fair trials because they have a duty to guarantee the
fundamental rights of the accused.
* Wolfgang Schomburg was a Judge of the Appeals Chambers of the International Criminal Tribunals for
the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. He was formerly a Senior Public Prosecutor and Judge in Berlin, a
Judge of the German Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof), and Under-Secretary of State
(Staatssekretar) in the Berlin Department of Justice. Judge Schomburg can be contacted at
intjuscrim.schomburg@gmx. net.
This article is a fundamentally revised and expanded version, updated as per November 10, 2009, of a
presentation made at Newcastle University Law School's symposium on Human Rights Challenges at the
Rise of the 21s Century -International Criminal Justice at the Edge of Utopia and Realism on June 24,
2008. Gratitude for extraordinary efforts in preparation of this paper goes to Matthias Schuster, Legal
Officer, ICTY, Office of the Prosecutor, and to Sinem Taskm, formerly Intem at ICTY/ICTR, Appeals
Chambers, as well as to Alex Hess, Senior Articles Editor, Northwestern Journal of International Human
Rights.
I Antonio Cassese, The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and Human Rights, 4
Eur. Hum. Rts. L. Rev. 329, 333 (1997); Mark Findlay, Internationalised Criminal Trial andAccess to
Justice, 2 Int'l Crim. L. Rev. 237, 251 (2002).
2 The full names of these tribunals are The International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons
Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of the
Former Yugoslavia since 1991 and The International Criminal Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons
Responsible for Genocide and Other Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in
the Territory of Rwanda and Rwandan Citizens Responsible for Genocide and Other Serious Violations
Committed in the Territory of Neighboring States, between 1 January 1994 and 31 December 1994. See
Statute of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, May 25, 1993, 32 I.L.M. 1192 [hereinafter
ICTY Statute]; Statute of the International Tribunal for Rwanda, Nov. 8, 1994, 33 I.L.M. 1598 [hereinafter
ICTR Statute], with its respective amendments until today's date.

What Is HeinOnline?

HeinOnline is a subscription-based resource containing nearly 2,700 academic and legal journals from inception; complete coverage of government documents such as U.S. Statutes at Large, U.S. Code, Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, U.S. Reports, and much more. Documents are image-based, fully searchable PDFs with the authority of print combined with the accessibility of a user-friendly and powerful database. For more information, request a quote or trial for your organization below.



Short-term subscription options include 24 hours, 48 hours, or 1 week to HeinOnline with pricing starting as low as $29.95

Access to this content requires a subscription. Please visit the following page to request a quote or trial:

Already a HeinOnline Subscriber?