The Right to a Fair Trial in International Criminal Law
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This work seeks to examine the potential of international criminal tribunals to set the highest standards of procedural fairness for the conduct of criminal proceedings domestically. This work points to a number of reasons why international criminal procedure ought to act as a beacon of fairness for domestic legal systems. International criminal procedure has embodied a number of positive precedents and has largely served in granting the accused a fair trial in an extraordinarily challenging context. In spite of these notable advances, the author identifies a number of shortcomings that indicate that contemporary international criminal tribunals have not fully embraced their standard-setting function and which have left the potential to set the highest standards of procedural fairness unrealised. These shortcomings include the length of trials and the causes of delay, coupled with a failure to acknowledge breaches of the accused's right to trial without undue delay. On occasion, the right to trial without undue delay has been used as a bar to the assertion of other rights or as an excuse to deny defence motions, in which an acceptance of any delay was clearly implicit. Another shortcoming is the extension of fair trial rights to parties other than the accused, often at the expense of the accused person. This thesis also posits that the move towards allowing untested written testimony as evidence of the acts or conduct of the accused is a cause for concern, and attempts to prove that, despite claims to the contrary, admissibility decisions do have a bearing on the weight given to written evidence in the final judgment. The conclusion of this work identifies a number of barriers that have hindered the full realisation of international criminal procedure's standard setting function, and makes some suggestions for its future development.