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10 - Judgement and sentencing

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 August 2011

Gideon Boas
Affiliation:
Monash University, Victoria
James L. Bischoff
Affiliation:
U.S. Department of State
Natalie L. Reid
Affiliation:
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, New York
B. Don Taylor III
Affiliation:
ICTY, The Hague, The Netherlands
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Summary

Trial chambers at the international criminal tribunals must accompany their verdict with a written judgement setting forth the judges' reasoning. Due to many factors, judgements at the international criminal tribunals have been notoriously lengthy. These include, among others, the chamber's need to articulate factual findings in detail; the sprawling nature of the crime base in many cases; the accused's senior status and the consequent need to set forth analyses of large quantities of linkage evidence; the joinder of several accused into the same trial; and a tradition of lengthy judgements dating from the earliest ICTY and ICTR trials. If the chamber convicts the accused and decides to impose a penalty of imprisonment, the judges also must set forth the reasons supporting the sentence in the same or a subsequent written judgement. For reasons discussed below, sentencing decisions at the international criminal tribunals, though guided by a large and detailed body of jurisprudence, have been unpredictable and sentences have been often astonishingly lenient considering the extreme gravity of the crimes.

This chapter looks at judgement, sentences of imprisonment and other penalties, and post-conviction and post-acquittal procedures at the international criminal tribunals. Though occasional reference is made to internationalised tribunals other than the SCSL, the chapter's main focus is the ICTY, the ICTR, and the SCSL as the most influential internationalised tribunal; these three tribunals have handed down many judgements and sentences and have contributed the bulk of the law on judgement and sentencing.

Type
Chapter
Information
International Criminal Law Practitioner Library
International Criminal Procedure
, pp. 375 - 422
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2011

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References

Boas, Gideon, Bischoff, James L., and Reid, Natalie L., Elements of Crimes Under International Law (2008) (‘Boas, Bischoff, and Reid, Elements of Crimes’), pp. 357–363
Triffterer, Otto, ‘Requirements for the Decision’, in Otto Triffterer (ed.), Commentary on the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court: Observers' Notes, Article by Article (1999), pp. 693–694Google Scholar
Boas, Gideon, ‘The Case for a New Appellate Jurisdiction for International Criminal Law’, in Göran Sluiter and Sergey Vasiliev (eds.), International Criminal Procedure: Towards a Coherent Body of Law (2009), p. 441 n. 137
Boas, Gideon, Bischoff, James L., and Reid, Natalie L., Forms of Responsibility in International Criminal Law (2007) (‘Boas, Bischoff, and Reid, Forms of Responsibility’), p. 383
Sloane, Robert D., ‘Sentencing for the “Crime of Crimes”: The Evolving “Common Law” of Sentencing of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda’, (2007) 5 Journal of International Criminal Justice713CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Danner, Allison Marston, ‘Constructing a Hierarchy of Crimes in International Criminal Law Sentencing’, (2001) 87 Virginia Law Review415, 420, 477CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ratner, Steven R., Abrams, Jason S., and Bischoff, James L., Accountability for Human Rights Atrocities in International Law: Beyond the Nuremberg Legacy (3rd edn 2009), pp. 227–228
Bonomy, Iain, ‘The Reality of Conducting a War Crimes Trial’, (2007) 5 Journal of International Criminal Justice348, 351CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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