Friday, 20 June 2008

Another Transfer to Rwanda Denied by International Tribunal

A third decision, in Prosecutor v. Hategekimana, adds to a growing body of case law on transfer of international prosecutions to national courts of Rwanda: Two earlier decisions have been posted on this blog over the past two weeks. The latest decision is by a different trial chamber, and raises one argument that was not even considered by the other trial chambers, namely whether Rwandan law is adequate to prosecute on the basis of 'command responsibility'. All three decisions are interesting, and show considerable variation in approach of the judges. It is a bit frightening, really. One would hope that the law would be clear and stable enough that if the same question based on the same facts were asked to different judges of a tribunal, as a general rule one would get the same result. But so far, three different trial chambers composed of three judges have ruled on transfer cases, and the approaches vary considerably. Is it really a good enough answer to say that these things will get sorted out by the Appeals Chamber?

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