Can we expect fair trials at the ICTR?
Earlier this year SBL student member Monique Noel completed an internship at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), under the supervision of SBL chair Peter Herbert OBE who is defense Counsel for Dr Ngirabatware, the former Minister of Planning for Rwanda.
The experience she gained working in Arusha, Tanzania where the ICTR is based was invaluable and provided a unique insight into the workings of the International Criminal Courts and Tribunals system, together with the complexities of international relations and foreign policy.
Noel’s interest in the politics of conflict and her observations at the Tribunal motivated her to write a paper on the provision and practicability of due process at the ICTR.
Having reviewed countless past judgements and witnessing questionable judicial conduct in the Ngirabatware trial, Noel began to wonder if the only useful purpose that the defense team could serve was as a reminder to the Tribunal that the accused is just that and not ‘the convicted’ and that the right to a fair and public hearing must be granted.
Considering the role of the international community, the essay looks at the emergence and relevance of the ICTR, its effectiveness and method of functioning, alleged complicity in the genocide factoring the bureaucratic and political complexities that effect trials, importance and adherence of due process and the potential miscarriages of justice to which Tribunals such as the ICTR seem particularly susceptible.