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Prosecutor v. Tadic

    Citation. Int’l Crim. Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, Decision on Interlocutory Appeal on Jurisdiction, 1995. Appeals Chamber, Case No. IT-94-1-ar72, 35 I.L.M. 32 (1996).

    Brief Fact Summary. For committing war crimes at a Serb-run concentration camp in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Tadic (D) was prosecuted in court.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law. Plea against the International Tribunal jurisdiction can be examined by the International Tribunal based on the invalidity of its establishment by the Security Council.

    Facts. For committing war crimes at a Serb-run concentration camp in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Tadic (D) was prosecuted in Court. The jurisdiction of the tribunal was however challenged by Tadic (D) on the ground that it exceeded the authority of the U.N. Security Council. This argument of Tadic (D) was dismissed by the trial court but Tadic (D) appealed.

    Issue. Can plea against the International Tribunal jurisdiction be examined by the International Tribunal based on the invalidity of its establishment by the Security Council?

    Held. Yes. Plea against the International Tribunal jurisdiction can be examined by the International Tribunal based on the invalidity of its establishment by the Security Council. The criteria for establishing an International Tribunal includes the establishment in accordance with the proper international standards, the provision of guarantees of fairness, justice, and even-handedness, in full conformity with internationally recognized human rights instruments. Hence, a tribunal like the one created in this case must be endowed with primacy over national courts.

    Discussion. The authority of the Security Council to establish a tribunal for the determination of a criminal charge was attacked by Tadic (D). So long as it is “established by law”, the tribunal is authorized to be established for the determination of these charges. The Council requires that it be “set up by a competent organ in keeping with relevant legal procedures and that it observes the requirements of procedural fairness.”


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