‘Best Before Date Shown’: Residual Mechanisms at the ICTY

Guido Acquaviva

in The Legacy of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780199573417
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191728822 | DOI:
‘Best Before Date Shown’: Residual Mechanisms at the ICTY

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This chapter outlines some of the issues raised by the topic of ‘residual mechanisms’ in the context of the closing down of the ICTY. Starting from a general introduction of the unique features of most contemporary international tribunals which render some type of residual mechanisms necessary, it discusses the functions currently exercised by the ICTY which are commonly perceived as requiring ‘residual mechanisms’ after the end of trial and appellate activities. Following a brief analysis of the most important residual functions, it focuses on two sets of activities: those entailing judicial functions and those relating to the voluminous archives presently held by the ICTY. The discussion highlights the need to strike a balance between two sets of potentially conflicting requirements: the need to respect ‘due process’ and ‘fairness’, and demands for ‘efficiency’ and ‘cost-effectiveness’. These concepts, as well as the inevitable tensions caused by their practical implementation, have long been in the minds of those developing the completion strategy for, and assessing the legacy of, the ICTY. On the basis of a slowly emerging consensus on how to reconcile the various rights and interests involved, the chapter finally ventures to suggest a line of action to be undertaken by the UN and other relevant stakeholders in devising and implementing mechanisms concerning the ICTY's residual functions once this Tribunal's mandate is complete.

Keywords: ICTY; international tribunals; legacy; residual mechanism; primacy; ICC; ICTR; SCSL; international justice; international law

Chapter.  15858 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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