Journal Article

Trials <i>in Absentia</i> in the Lebanese Judicial System and at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon

Ralph Riachy

in Journal of International Criminal Justice

Volume 8, issue 5, pages 1295-1305
Published in print November 2010 | ISSN: 1478-1387
Published online November 2010 | e-ISSN: 1478-1395 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jicj/mqq073
Trials in Absentia in the Lebanese Judicial System and at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon

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The concept of trials in absentia is founded in French law, whereby notions of public order, stability of society and the establishment of truth and justice indicate that criminal proceedings, unlike in common law systems, do not belong exclusively to the parties to the case but are an expression of societal interests, beyond and above the attitude of the parties. The author compares and contrasts the Lebanese procedural rules on trials in absentia with those provided for in the Statute and the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. Specific issues addressed include circumstances where trials in absentia are appropriate, and implications of the presence of the defendant in court for a limited period of time, either at the start or during the trial, or after judgment and appeal. Through this comparative assessment the author argues in favour of trials in absentia as a legitimate mechanism at the international level provided the fundamental rights of the accused are duly safeguarded.

Journal Article.  4825 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law ; International Law

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