The fourth United Nations ‘international’ criminal court, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, is due to open for business tomorrow. It has its headquarters in Leidschendam, which is near The Hague. Its subject-matter jurisdiction is confined to the assassination of Rafiq Hariri in 2005, and it will be applying the provisions of Lebanese law. The Tribunal has a website (http://www.un.org/apps/news/infocus/lebanon/tribunal/), but it has not been brought up to date in almost a year.
There has as yet been no public announcement of the Tribunal’s personnel, but it is widely believed that the judiciary will include Prof. Antonio Cassese (see photo), who was first President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, as well as another former judge of the Tribunal, Bert Swart, and a defense lawyer who practiced there, Howard Morrison. Four Lebanese nationals will also be named to sit as judges. The Prosecutor is a Canadian, Daniel Bellemare, according to the press briefing on the United Nations website yesterday (http://www.un.org/News/briefings/docs/2009/db090227.doc.htm). The Secretary-General is to make a statement tomorrow on the matter.