Journal Article

The Subject-Matter Jurisdiction of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon

Nidal Nabil Jurdi

in Journal of International Criminal Justice

Volume 5, issue 5, pages 1125-1138
Published in print November 2007 | ISSN: 1478-1387
Published online November 2007 | e-ISSN: 1478-1395 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jicj/mqm071
The Subject-Matter Jurisdiction of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon

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The Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) represents a sui generis international tribunal on various levels. It is the first time a treaty-based Tribunal has been established through a resolution of the Security Council adopted under Chapter VII. A further unique feature is its sole dependence on domestic substantive crimes. The attempt to include crimes against humanity in the Statute did not succeed, despite the fact that the elements of a crime against humanity seem to be discernable in the conduct that falls within the jurisdiction of the STL. References to international and regional terrorism instruments, such as the Arab Convention for the Suppression of Terrorism, were also abandoned. The Tribunal will rely on Lebanese criminal provisions regarding terrorism, illicit associations, crimes and offences against life and personal integrity. Lebanese law provides an old but concrete definition of terrorism. This raises the question of whether the Lebanese definition, with its strengths and weaknesses, could assist in the evolution of a well-structured definition of international terrorism. The possibility of ‘internationalizing’ the Lebanese definition will depend on two factors: the judges’ approach in adopting the Tribunal's rules of evidence and procedure, and then more importantly their creativity in developing the jurisprudence of the Tribunal.

Journal Article.  6619 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law ; International Law

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