Journal Article

Was the <i>Dujail</i> Trial Fair?

Miranda Sissons and Ari S. Bassin

in Journal of International Criminal Justice

Volume 5, issue 2, pages 272-286
Published in print May 2007 | ISSN: 1478-1387
Published online May 2007 | e-ISSN: 1478-1395 | DOI:
Was the Dujail Trial Fair?

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The Dujail trial against eight persons accused of crimes against humanity was intended as the first of fourteen trials; it was seen as a quick and simple case that would enable the Tribunal to develop its skills outside the limelight. The trial was in fact a missed opportunity in the search for Iraqi justice. It fell short in three notable ways: (i) it was severely compromised by political interference: lack of judicial independence, linked to the absence of a culture of respect for the fairness and impartiality of the judicial process, was the greatest failing of the trial; (ii) there were breaches in fair trial standards at the trial and appellate level; (iii) due to evidentiary and analytical gaps, the trial did not expose the full extent of crimes committed by the deposed regime; much of the judgment hinged on inference and stretched notions of liability. The Dujail trial was better than previous (and current) Iraqi trials. But that was not enough to meet minimum fair trial guarantees.

Journal Article.  7347 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law ; International Law

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