Monday, January 23, 2006

Kurdish Judge Appointed New Chief of Iraqi Special Tribunal

Speaking of war crimes trials, according to press reports, Ra'uf Rashid Abdul Rahman, a judge on the Iraqi Special Tribunal, will be elevated to Chief Judge to replace Rizgar Muhammad Amin, who submitted his resignation from the court a week ago. Last week the Iraq government announced that Amin would be replaced by Said al-Hammash, another judge on the tribunal. (As I understand it, Hammash's name was withdrawn amid protests that he was a former member of the Baath party; presumably such membership would have disqualified him from any position on the tribunal.) In the meantime, political leadership in Iraq is trying to convince Amin to stay on the tribunal, even in a lesser role, to preserve the continuity of the court and to counter reports that Amin resigned due to political pressure.

Saddam Hussein's trial is set to resume tomorrow. It is important that the tribunal itself has its act together. Given the uncertainty of the past week and the machinations over the judges, that may not be the case. And changes to the composition of the court give defense counsel precisely the kind of ammunition they need to attack the procedural and substantive fairness of the tribunal. I tend to agree with William Schabas, who has been providing thoughtful commentary over at Grotian Moment:

This is a wake-up call to all who are concerned that the trial of Saddam Hussein be carried out fairly and impartially. It may well be that the current situation in Iraq, which borders on anarchy, is simply not conducive to proper justice being rendered. If that is the conclusion, the trial should be stopped, or it should be moved to a venue where justice can be done.

Michael Scharf, David Crane, and Mike Newton have additional insights (drawn from their considerable collective experiences with the ICTY, Sierra Leone Special Tribunal and the IST) at Grotian Moment on both the initial wisdom of carrying out the IST in Iraq with Iraqi judges, and the potential for moving the trial to a location outside Iraq.


Blogger xinag zhong said...

perceptionDiablo 3 items associated with carrying out this IST within Iraq together with Iraqi judges, plus the likelihood of relocating your demo into a Cheapest wow goldsite outside Irak.

7/28/2012 2:13 AM  

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