Skip to the main content

Original scientific paper

Some Remarks on the Nature and Role of the Fair Trial Principle Before International Criminal Tribunals

Davor Krapac ; Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Zagreb, Croatia

Full text: croatian pdf 459 Kb

page 523-535

downloads: 691



While arguing that the fair trial principle is nowadays considered to be a general principle of international law in the proceedings before international criminal tribunals, the author points to the different interpretations of its elements in practice of these tribunals. These interpretational differences are the consequence of specific procedural settings in which international criminal tribunals operate, marked by trials for international crimes of extreme graveness and with a huge number of affected victims. But, no matter what problems may be encountered while evaluating and assessing the interests of the defense of the accused, the limitation of individual elements of fair trial rights at the expenses of the defense is permitted only due to special circumstances of foundation of these tribunals and in the interest of fulfilling their tasks. This element distinguishes international criminal tribunals from national courts. The author is of the opinion that an appropriate balance of the interests of the defense and the interests of the prosecution is of key importance for fair treatment of all participants, for legitimacy of the proceedings, and for the overall operation of the international criminal tribunals. Such balance has to be secured both while defining procedural framework in the bylaws and regulations of such tribunals, and while adjudicating concrete cases. This submission is illustrated by selected cases from the case law of the ICTY and ICTR as ad hoc international criminal tribunals. The experience and the authority accumulated in these cases may be a capital for securing appropriate adjudication in the cases before the ICC as the permanent tribunal for international crimes that only has to establish its case law in the future.


criminal proceedings, fair trial principle, international criminal courts, international criminal law

Hrčak ID:



Article data in other languages: croatian

Visits: 1.284 *