Journal Article

Early Reflections on Local Perceptions, Legitimacy and Legacy of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon

Marieke Wierda, Habib Nassar and Lynn Maalouf

in Journal of International Criminal Justice

Volume 5, issue 5, pages 1065-1081
Published in print November 2007 | ISSN: 1478-1387
Published online November 2007 | e-ISSN: 1478-1395 | DOI:
Early Reflections on Local Perceptions, Legitimacy and Legacy of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon

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Resolution 1757 (2007) has come into force in challenging circumstances in terms of Lebanese politics. At the time of writing, Lebanon's government is at a deadlock between two political alliances known as March 8 and March 14. While the latter has welcomed the Resolution, the former has expressed reservations about the impact of the Resolution's passage on Lebanese sovereignty. Further challenges to the legitimacy of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (‘STL’) are posed by (1) Lebanon's historical context including its 15-year war followed by selective impunity; (2) the highly selective nature of the jurisdiction of the STL and (3) the political context and fears that the STL itself will act as an instrument for foreign powers. This article suggests that the UN and STL can address some of these legitimacy challenges through their operations, including the transparent selection of judges and senior officials; attracting funding from a variety of states; and effective outreach. Above all, the STL should be differentiated from the other Tribunals. It should be seen as the logical next step to the International Independent Investigative Commission. In addition, the STL should strive to leave a lasting legacy in Lebanon and in the field of international criminal law.

Journal Article.  7687 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law ; International Law

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