“Protecting human dignity”

13 January 2010 by Sebastiaan Gottlieb

Antonio Cassese was the first president of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and is now head of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL). He just announced that he will visit Lebanon in the coming weeks to complete the investigation into the assassination of former prime minister Rafiq Hariri.

He spoke to the IJT’s Sebastiaan Gottlieb.

Can you tell us anything about the progress of the STL?
We have a limited staff but we are able to work hard and produce quite a few things. We have not yet any case, as you know, and will have a trial only probably in early 2011. Meanwhile we are preparing all the practical and legal infrastructures, so that as soon as we have a case, we can proceed very expeditiously and we will not waste money or time.

Do we still need ad hoc tribunals like the STL now that the ICC has opened?
Yes, because there are cases where a country wants to get involved in trials. Say Lebanon, Sierra Leone: they say we don’t have the facilities or the necessary judiciary to bring to trial people who have committed horrendous crimes. We want an international tribunal to be established but we want to be part of that tribunal, so possibly the tribunal should be headquartered on our territory. Therefore there may be a situation where, in spite of the importance of the ICC, it would be important to set up a tribunal, which is tailor-made to a particular situation in a particular country.

Want to read more?

If you subscribe to a free membership, you can read this article and explore our full archive, dating back to 1997.

Subscribe now

Related articles

21 December 2011 by Thijs Bouwknegt

Being the ICC's Chief Prosecutor is a delicate and politically sensitivejob.ForLuisMorenoOcampo it has been "the best job in the world." Fatou Bensouda will be taking over his office in June. She inhe

07 December 2011 by Thijs Bouwknegt

December 7, 2011 Ivory Coast is the latest playgroundoftheInternationalCriminal Court. This week the courtroom in The Hague became its theatre of justice. Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo proudly p

07 December 2011 by Richard Walker

Four Congolese witnesses testifying at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, find themselves caught in a legal wrangle, which could at once set a legal precedent and make them the last

07 December 2011 by Lindy Janssen

Brazil is booming. The economy is expanding and the country is getting ready to host the Football World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016. But the Latin American giant has not even begun dealing wi

07 December 2011 by Radosa Milutinovic

The primary purpose of the retrial of Ramush Haradinaj, as proclaimed by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in its appeal judgement in July, should have been to hear testimonies of two "key" witnesses who proved unwilling to testify in the original trial in 2007. Almost four months into the retrial which started in mid-August, its stated aim has not yet been achieved.