Monday, 1 September 2008
Florence Hartmann Prosecuted for Contempt
Late last year, Florence Hartmann published her memoir of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, where she worked as an assistant to Prosecutor Carla del Ponte for several years. The account, entitled Paix et châtiment, is full of juicy gossip, although of course it is impossible to distinguish fact from fiction in many cases. I learned about secret decisions of the Appeals Chamber concerning disclosure of evidence from Serbia. As an employee of the Tribunal, Hartmann wasn't supposed to divulge these secrets. She might have been in breach of her contract of employment. But the Tribunal has gone a step further, charging her with contempt. She is ordered to appear in The Hague on 15 September 2008: http://www.un.org/icty/milosevic/hartmannf/trialc/order-e/080827.pdf. I'm not sure what they can do if she doesn't show up. I've always been intrigued at how the Tribunal gave itself the authority to prosecute contempt of court, as an ancillary or implied power, because the Statute does not give it any express authority in this area. Under the Statute, it has jurisdiction to prosecute serious violations of international humanitarian law committed on the territory of the former Yugoslavia since 1991. It is not clear to me that publishing a book in Paris fits within this framework.