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Title: Ascertainment of the truth in international criminal justice
Authors: Buisman, Caroline
Advisors: Bantekas, I
Giannoulopoulos, D
Keywords: International criminal investigation;Practice of international criminal courts and tribunals;International criminal evidence;International criminal procedure;Comparative criminal justice
Issue Date: 2012
Abstract: This thesis seeks to answer the principal question as to whether international criminal justice systems can serve as adequate truth-ascertaining forums. In doing so, it reviews the practice of three international criminal justice systems: the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and the International Criminal Court (ICC). It is not the purpose of this research to review the black letter law adopted and applied by these international tribunals and court, but rather to review the implementation of the legal principles in practice. It is a socio-legal research project which focuses on the practice of the tribunals and court. It discusses socio-legal, institutional and political issues relating to the ascertainment of the truth in international criminal justice. In addition, it examines the gaps between the theory and practice of ascertaining the truth in the ICTY, ICTR and ICC. It does so principally by exploring the roles of the parties, participants and judges in ascertaining the truth. This includes the obstacles they face in doing so and the responses given, if any, to accommodate these difficulties. Challenges include the politicised climate of most post-conflict societies, the remoteness of the crime base areas from the seat of the Court, the lack of enforcement mechanisms and reliance on State cooperation, as well as the unfamiliarities with the cultural and linguistic features of the affected communities. This thesis reveals that these difficulties are not the principal cause of truth-searching impediments. Indeed, it is asserted that the ascertainment of the truth can be fair and effective notwithstanding these difficulties. It also demonstrates that truth-ascertaining impediments are mainly caused by failures to adequately investigate the crimes and relevant evidence. At the ICTY, investigations have been carried out in the most efficient and fair manner possible under the circumstances. By contrast, the ICTR and ICC investigations are far from adequate and should be improved. The Prosecution should make more efforts to obtain the best evidence available. It further concludes that international justice systems have set their goals too highly. Instead of seeking to meet objectives such as reconciliation, peace and security, they should restrict their focus to the question as to whether the guilt of a particular accused has been established in respect of the crimes charged.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the degree of Docter of Philosophy and awarded by Brunel University.
Appears in Collections:Law
Brunel University Theses
Dept of Politics, History and Law Theses

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