Cornell International Law Journal


Ruth Wedgwood


Public Interest, International Law, Judiciary, Criminal Justice, article, Evaluation, Sentences (Criminal procedure), Judicial process, International offenses


In this essay in the Symposium on Milosevic & Hussein on Trial, the author questions the critiques of the Iraqi Special Tribunal (IST) to argue that the tribunal offers advantages of availability to citizens in location, language, & differences in legal categories that were not available to people in the former Yugoslavia & Rwanda trials. Language issues that have emerged in fact finding, establishing culpability, & barriers in witness interviews are described. The meaning of moral responsibility in terms of exculpatory evidence, & command responsibility are difficult to communicate or interpret. The advantages of local trials are the increased possibility of institutional capacity building, avoidance of the sense of recolonization, cost, the precedence of the Rome Statue & existing law, & minimal international capacity. The author concludes with a discussion of the challenging issues regarding the nation state & sentencing related to the case of Iraq, neutrality in the case of Rwanda, & immunity for the heads of state. J. Harwell

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