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Punishing Assassins: The UN Security Council’s Criminal Tribunal for Lebanon. Sarah Williams Durham University. Overview. Background Establishment of the STL Key features Legal Basis Legal Issues: immunity, cooperation, primacy. Background (1). Political tension during 2004/05

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punishing assassins the un security council s criminal tribunal for lebanon

Punishing Assassins: The UN Security Council’s Criminal Tribunal for Lebanon

Sarah Williams

Durham University

overview
Overview
  • Background
  • Establishment of the STL
  • Key features
  • Legal Basis
  • Legal Issues: immunity, cooperation, primacy
background 1
Background (1)
  • Political tension during 2004/05
  • Assassination of Hariri in Feb 2005
  • Establishment of the UNIIIC
    • Resolution 1595
    • Resolution 1636
  • Further assassinations and bombings in 2005
background 2
Background (2)
  • Request from Lebanon in December 2005
  • Resolution 1644
  • Council endorses report attaching draft agreement and statute
  • Agreement signed by UN and GoL in early 2007
  • Lebanon requests unilateral establishment
background 3
Background (3)
  • Resolution 1757, 30 May 2007
    • Assassination = threat to international peace and security
    • Chapter VII resolution
    • Agreement to enter into force on 10 June 2007, unless GoL notifies Council that agreement has been ratified
    • Provisions re headquarters agreement and funding
  • Agreement not ratified, entered into force on 10 June 2007
key features 1 structure
Key features (1): Structure
  • Pre-trial judge, Trial Chamber, Appeals Chamber, with international judges
  • International prosecutor, national deputy
  • International registrar
  • Defence office
key features 2 funding and location
Key features (2): Funding and location
  • Funding
    • 51% from voluntary contributions and 49% from GoL
    • Phased introduction
  • Location
    • To sit outside Lebanon due to security concerns
    • Agreement concluded with the Netherlands to host the STL in The Hague
    • Office in Lebanon
  • Management Committee
key features 3 jurisdiction
Key features (3): Jurisdiction
  • Temporal
  • Personal
  • Territorial
  • Subject matter
    • Domestic crimes only
key features 5 procedural aspects
Key features (5): Procedural aspects
  • Draws on civil law traditions
  • Designed to use the material gathered by the UNIIIC, practical and legal issues
  • Trials in absentia
  • Provisions on rights of victims
  • No death penalty
legal basis 1
Legal basis (1)
  • Originally intended to be a treaty-based court, like the SCSL
  • What is the effect of Resolution 1757?
    • Two possibilities
legal basis 2
Legal basis (2)
  • Option One: STL remains a treaty-based tribunal
  • BUT:
    • Article 2(7) limitation
    • Implications for the law of treaties
    • Implications for the powers / validity of the Security Council
legal basis 3
Legal basis (3)
  • Option Two:

STL established by Chapter VII as a ‘Chapter VII’ tribunal

    • Language of Resolution 1757
    • Finding as to TIPS
  • BUT:
    • First hybrid to be established by Chapter VII
    • Valid exercise of Council’s powers?
    • Different to ICTY/R?
  • Preferable to option 1?
legal issues 1
Legal Issues (1)
  • Cooperation
    • Agreement contains binding obligations for Lebanon
    • Resolution 1757 silent as to obligations for other states
    • Existing Council resolutions (1373; 1566)
    • Terrorism conventions; other cooperation / MLA agreements
    • Future Council resolutions
legal issues 2
Legal Issues (2)
  • Immunity
    • No provision in statute
    • Does international law recognise immunity for terrorism crimes?
    • Can terrorism be an official act?
    • International tribunal – legal basis relevant to immunity?
    • Is a specific Council resolution removing immunity required?
legal issues 3
Legal Issues (3)
  • Primacy
    • Agreement confers primacy in respect of courts in Lebanon
    • No provision regards courts of other states
    • Possibility of trials in Syria – terrorism conventions only oblige to extradite or prosecute
future
Future
  • Role of STL as part of overall strategy in the region
  • Risk of destabilising Syria?
  • Political will to enable STL to perform its mandate?
  • Future tribunals for political assassinations
    • ICC
    • Pakistan and East Timor?