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Focus on ICTR: The defense perspective
Olivier Nyirubugara
17 November 2009
 

Focus on the ICTR: A defence perspective from olny.nl on Vimeo.

 

The UN International criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has a few years to go and discussions about its legacy for the International Criminal Law has started. While some perceive that Tribunal as a major advancement, others, including defense laywers, who have been defending genocide suspects for last fourteen years, think that this ICTR and other ad hoc courts, have created a regrettable precedent.

‘The ICTR has been a big mistake’, said Kenyan defense attorney Kennedy Ogetto. He was speaking in The Hague, The Netherlands on 14 November 2009 in a three-day self-sponsored conference. Over 100 people, mostly Rwandans, but also foreigners coming from all over the world listened to frustration-marked presentations by the lawyers and other scholars and experts.

The ICTR is illegal

The legality of the ICTR is still being discussed, even as the Court’s closure is drawing near. In this regard, the laywers and scholars who spoke during the conference converge to qualify the setting up the ICTR by the Security Council as an abuse of power.

‘No ad hoc criminal court should be created by the UN Security Council’, said, Austrian Philosophy professor Hans Koechler , adding that justice should not be administered by the five super-powers with the veto right. Veteran French Laywer, Roland Weyl agrees:

‘All the tribunals set up by the Security Council are marked by a fundamental international illegality’, he said. He explained that the sole task of the Security Council is to keep and restore peace. ‘The setting up of criminal tribunals is … a prerogative of the General Assembly in its full sovereignty’, he concluded....View the entire report

 

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