The Organization of the Tribunals

Part of the Springer Series on International Justice and Human Rights book series (SSIJHR)


This chapter examines the basic structure of the hybrid tribunals, their organizational structure, composition, and some of their operations including the distribution of authority among the various bodies. It focuses on the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL), the Special Panel for Serious Crimes (SPSC) for East Timor, the courts for the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), and the Bosnia War Crimes Chamber (BWCC). The ECCC consists in three bodies: the Judicial Chamber (consisting of a Pre-Trial Chamber, a Trial Chamber, and an Appellate Chamber), the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP), which work with two co-investigating judges (CIJs) to investigate and prosecute suspected war criminals from among the Khmer Rouge (KR). The Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the Chambers along with the Victims Support Section (VSS) are responsible for disseminating information about events at the ECCC. This chapter also discusses the co-prosecutor’s strategy in this case including the decision to indict Kaing Guek Eav (a.k.a. Duch) as well as Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary, Khieu Samphan, and Ieng Thirith. The SCSL had a similar structure, with American David Crane serving as head prosecutor. Crane’s prosecutorial strategy consisted in three separate trials for the leaders of the major groups in the Sierra Leone conflict: the Revolutionary United Front (RUF—Issa Sesay, Morris Kallon, and Augustine Gbao), the Civil Defense Forces (CDF—Sam Hinga Norman, Moinina Fofana, and Allieu Kondewa) and the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC—Alex Tamba Brima, Santigie Borbo Kanu, and Brimay Bazzy Kamar). In East Timor, the chapter discusses the relationship between the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) and the SPSC, the Serious Crime Unit (SCU) and the Defense Lawyers Unit (DLU). Further, it examines the early prosecutions of the massacres following East Timor’s independence referendum. The chapter also discusses the place of the war crimes tribunals in UNMIK’s structure as well as the role of the judiciary as authority was transferred from UNMIK to the European Union’s Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX). Finally, the chapter examines the BWCC’s structures in relation to the broader Bosnian government, including the phasing out of the court’s international presence and the Bosnian Ministry of Justice’s “National War Crimes Strategy.”


United Nations Trial Chamber Khmer Rouge Revolutionary United Front Cambodian Government 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department Sociology & Criminal JusticeUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA

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