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Pr TIGAR

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Upholding the extradition of Augusto Pinochet, Bow Street Magistrate Roland Bartle discussed the streamlined extradition rules established by new conventions within the European Community, and went on to speak of transnational criminal law in more general terms:...

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... Magistrate Bartle was speaking of the most significant development of international criminal law in the past century. As he noted, that effort is served by expansive views of national jurisdiction to try offenders. However, in the longer term, transnational tribunals must take up this work. Based on the work of the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the International Court has begun to hear cases of international human rights crimes.

 

The substantive norms that the ICTY, ICTR and ICC will apply have been the subject of general agreement – at least in broad outline – since the 1945 London Charter that created the Nuremberg Tribunal. The principal problem has been, as is often the case when creating new institutional structures, that of procedure. Indeed, states refusing to submit to the ICC raise procedural objections as the basis of refusal, even though one suspects that these reasons are in some part pretextual.

 

The ICC procedures are based on the ICTY and ICTR experience. Judges, lawyers and students of international law now have an invaluable resource to understand and to work within those procedures. Dr. Karin C. Calvo-Goller has written “The Trial Proceedings of the International Criminal Court: ICTY and ICTR Precedents”, published by the renowned Martinus Nijhoff publishing house. Dr. Calvo-Goller has worked in the United States, Europe and Israel. She holds degrees from the Sorbonne. She is a practicing lawyer and a scholar of the law.

 

She shows the reader how these tribunals sought to create an acceptable system of procedure by borrowing from civil law and common law countries.

 

The subject of this book is central to the very legitimacy of transnational legal institutions at this moment in history. The trials now going on and about to begin will teach the world about important historical facts. They will subject significant events to rigorous examination under rules of evidence and procedure that seek to guarantee reliable outcomes. If these tribunals succeed in these tasks, they will validate their own existence and contribute to a general sense that crimes against humanity can be investigated and punished fairly and justly.

 

I have been reading several recent books on international criminal law and procedure, and I rate this one as indispensable. The reader will find suggested answers to almost any procedural issue that might arise in ICC proceedings. More significantly, however, the reader will find critical insights. For example, most large scale ICTY, ICTY and ICC trials involve extensive use of summary evidence and expert testimony to establish basic facts. Dr. Calvo-Goller questions the fairness of over-reliance on this sort of evidence, because the defense may not have a fair chance to meet it by conducting independent investigation and because the factual basis for an expert or summary conclusion cannot effectively be reached by cross-examination. As a lawyer who has faced this very problem, I was impressed by her grasp of the practical and theoretical issues.

 

In short, this is an essential book, and deserves a place close at hand for those concerned with these issues.

 

Michael E. Tigar

Research Professor of Law, American University, Washington College of Law

Visiting Professor of Law, Duke Law School

Professeur Invité, Faculté de droit, Université Paul Cezanne

Professor Tigar has been involved in international rights work for more than 40 years.