The Challenges Faced by the Iraqi High Tribunal: The Dujail Trial

in The Law & Practice of International Courts and Tribunals
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Abstract

From its creation as an "internationalized domestic tribunal" until the execution of his first sentence in the Dujail case, the Iraqi High Tribunal has been criticized by States, International as well as Non-Governmental Organizations and scholars. This article provides a comprehensive analysis of the first and most expected decision of the Iraqi High Tribunal: the condemnation and execution of the former dictator Saddam Hussein.The first part of the article describes the controversy over the choice of tribunal and explains how, in the context of the multiplication of international and hybrid criminal bodies, the decision of the Iraqi government to create a domestic court with some international law elements has added fuel to the criticisms and complicated the task of the Tribunal to render justice.The second part of the article scrutinizes the Tribunal decision in the Dujail case. The International Community was eager to read how the Tribunal would deal with the exceptions to the competence raised by the defendants. Despite a very lengthy decision, the response of the Tribunal was not entirely satisfactory. Furthermore, the aspects of the merit dealing with international law precedents were quite disappointing.Finally, the third part of the article examines the legality of the death penalty. Saddam Hussein and his co-defendants were hanged immediately after a short and fast appeal procedure. Consequently, the reactions towards the execution have been strong and highly critical.

The Challenges Faced by the Iraqi High Tribunal: The Dujail Trial

in The Law & Practice of International Courts and Tribunals

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