From Yugoslavia to Sierra Leone: advantages and shortcomings of the ad-hoc tribunals and the hybrid courts
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In this Mini thesis, I compare the advantages of the hybrid courts with the international ad-hoc tribunals, arguing that the potential of the hybrid courts to work successfully is much greater than that of the ad-hoc tribunals. I present five case studies and provide an overview over the historical background as well as the legal framework for the respective courts. These case studies are the two international ad-hoc tribunals, the Intonational Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the one for Rwanda (ICTR), and three hybrid court models, the Special Panels in East Timor, the Special Court in Sierra Leone and the Extraordinary Chambers in Cambodia. I measure the ad-hoc tribunals against their goals in order to evaluate their success and to compare them with the work of the hybrid courts. My findings are that the international ad-hoc tribunals failed to reach their goals of ensuring prosecution and promoting reconciliation (both ICTY and ICTR) and establishing regional stability (ICTR only). I discuss the term "reconciliation" and develop a five-tier model in order to measure whether and to what extent reconciliation has been reached. This model includes a sociological, political, economic and demographic approach as well as an assessment of how the respective societies reckon with their past. I apply this model to the work of the ICTY and the ICTR and state that they were not successful in promoting reconciliation. Furthermore, I describe the contributions of the ICTY and the ICTR to the field of international criminal law and show some legal problems regarding the work of the two finals. Regarding the three hybrid courts, of which two (East Timor and Sierra Leone) are currently operating and one (Cambodia) is yet to be established, I analyse their potential and the problematic aspects. Examining the potential, I enumerate the geographical proximity of the hybrid court, its possibility to contribute to the process of capacity-building for both legal and administrative staff and the chance of increasing the acceptance of international criminal law norms and human rights as well as the trust in the rule of law within the local population. Regarding problematic aspects, I discuss the international perception and legitimacy of the hybrid courts as well as their possibility of contributing to intonational criminal law. I show the problematic funding of the hybrid courts, the struggle to win over the local population, as well as the need for support from both the UN and the national government. I look at the role that hybrid courts can play in future, considering the establishment of the International Criminal Court and how the two bodies could cooperate. I describe the concepts of retributive and restorative justice with the model of a truth commission and how a society which has to deal with massive human rights violations can benefit from the ideas of restorative justice and the combined use of a hybrid court and a truth commission. I conclude the Mini thesis with an outlook of when and how hybrid courts are a suitable measure for a society to reckon with its past.