Fair Trial Rights In Proceedings Before International Criminal Tribunals

Course Description: 

The course will focus on international due process standards as guaranteed in trials of defendants accused of the most serious crimes before international tribunals and also national courts trying international crimes. The course will address the particularities of so called historical trials, the multiple functions this type of trials are expected to accomplish and the difficulties they are faced with. Following a brief description of the historical background of the creation of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the analysis of the operation of the Nuremberg Military Tribunal, the ad-hoc international tribunals and hybrid and internationalized courts the procedure to be followed by the ICC will be discussed in details in the light of international fair trial standards. In addition to defendant’s rights also the status and rights of crime victims will be discussed. The course will extend to the demonstration of the impact of different legal systems and of their human rights concepts on the ICC Statute as reflected in the provisions on procedure, on penalties and on the enforcement of judgments.

Learning Outcomes: 
  • Ability to demonstrate in-depth knowledge of some substantive areas of international human rights law – advanced level.
  • Ability to demonstrate knowledge in international criminal justice – basic level.
  • Ability to explain the main institutional and procedural features of regional and universal intergovernmental and international institutions protecting human rights and of courts – both national and international – trying international crimes.
  • Ability to demonstrate an awareness and understanding of the wider context of legal issues relating to human rights and international criminal justice.
  • Ability to use statute-based reasoning.
  • Ability to provide genuine solutions to complex constitutional and human rights problems using comparative arguments.
  • Ability to generate new ideas.

The final grade is based on in-class participation (10 %), the group exercise (20 %) and the in-class final exam (70 %). The final exam is a two and a half-hour (2.5-hour) open book exam.