Thursday, April 29, 2010

Ahoy, there! New tribunal?

Keep reading that ad hoc criminal tribunals are destined for Davey Jones' locker.
Apparently no one's given the United Nations that memo.
Not only did that intergovernmental organization establish the Special Tribunal for Lebanon a while back (prior posts), but also yesterday the U.N. Security Council unanimously resolved to consider an international piracy tribunal.
The latest in a 2-years-on series of resolutions on "The situation in Somalia," Resolution 1918 (2010) 1st recited a litany of concerns about attacks by pirates off the coast of that horn-of-Africa nation. (See Beth Van Schaack's post today, above, as well as IntLawGrrls' prior posts). Then it alluded to problems in bringing offenders to account, even as it noted that there've been some prosecutions in some national courts. (Justice systems specifically mentioned were Kenya (right) (photo credit) and the Seychelles. A few pirates also have found themselves haled before national courts in the United States and elsewhere.)
After urging more concerted efforts by all countries, the Security Council, in ¶ 4 of Resolution 1918, requested U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
to present to the Security Council within 3 months a report on possible options to further the aim of prosecuting and imprisoning persons responsible for acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia ...
Options explicitly contemplated:
► "creating special domestic chambers possibly with international components"
► "a regional tribunal or an international tribunal and corresponding imprisonment arrangements"
In preparing its report, Ban's staff is to consider the work of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, as well as "the existing practice in establishing international and mixed tribunals ..."
Time will tell if yet another tribunal weighs anchor.

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