Back to RJ Archive

Negotiated justice and the goals of international criminal tribunals.

Petrig, Anna
June 4, 2015

Source: (2008) Chicago-Kent Journal of International and Comparative Law. 8(1): 1-31.

Also, United States Judge McDonald’s replacement of Judge Cassese as President of the ICTY added to the momentum
for change, as she was in strong favor of increasing the use of plea-bargaining at the ICTY. … The ICTY considers
that the use of plea-bargaining does not hinder the establishment of the truth, and in fact, it has repeatedly affirmed that
guilty pleas are an important and direct contribution to the truth-finding function of the Tribunal. … Plea-Bargaining
from the Victim’s and the Accused’s Perspective The paramount goal of international criminal tribunals is to convict and
punish those most responsible for committing war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. … The Rome Statute
makes some accommodation for these conflicting interests in Article 65(4), under which the Trial Chamber may request
that the prosecutor present additional evidence, including the testimony of witnesses, or even order the trial to be continued
under the ordinary trial procedures if it is “of the opinion that a more complete presentation of the facts of the
case is required in the interests of justice, in particular in the interests of the victims.” … While I am not able to see behind
the curtain of the ICTY, it seems to me that administrative efficiency and judicial economy played a more important
role than was admitted in the Nikolic Tribunal’s decision to eventually admit plea-bargaining. … The use of pleabargaining
entails the risk of compromising the goals and mandate of international criminal courts, which goes beyond
the purposes of domestic criminal proceedings mainly consisting of retribution, deterrence, rehabilitation, and prevention. (Author’s Abstract)


Support the cause

We've Been Restoring Justice for More Than 40 Years

Your donation helps Prison Fellowship International repair the harm caused by crime by emphasizing accountability, forgiveness, and making amends for prisoners and those affected by their actions. When victims, offenders, and community members meet to decide how to do that, the results are transformational.

Donate Now