Tuesday, November 23, 2010

'Nuff said

(Taking context-optional note of thought-provoking quotes)

'The whole trial has been a nightmare since the disputes between judges and the prosecutor began in 2008. ... There appears almost a breakdown between the two sides.'

-- Our colleague William A. Schabas (below right), Professor and Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, National University of Ireland-Galway, in yesterday's New York Times article by Marlise Simons, entitled "For International Criminal Court, Frustration and Missteps in Its First Trial." Blogreaders will recognize the subject of Simons' critique as the on-again/off-again ICC proceedings about which we've frequently posted -- the trial of Congolese militia leader Thomas Lubanga Dyilo for illegal recruitment of child soldiers. Problems cited include:
► The "'ugly and healthy'" relations, as Schabas termed them, between judges and the prosecution, stemming out of an evidentiary dispute that implicates the due process rights of the accused.
► Continuing doubts about the strength of the case -- about whether "'all this time and effort was worthwhile,'" in the quoted words of Lorraine Smith, who's monitoring for the International Bar Association.
► The decision of the prosecution not to press charges of sexual crimes, a complaint voice by IntLawGrrls guest/alumna Brigid Inder, the Women's Initiatives for Gender justice representative who posted on the issue a while back.
Scarcely a welcome account on the same day that trial #2 commenced, against Jean-Pierre Bemba.

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