UN Tribunals

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  • UN tribunals
    • Aims
      • Bring to justice perpetrators of these crimes.
      • Develop the principle that heads of government can be held accountable - ending impunity.
      • Expose the horror of these crimes to prevent them being repeated.
      • Establish the principle of a global community that won't tolerate such human rights abuses.
    • Successes
      • Former Yugoslavia (1993): by 2017 it had convicted and sentenced 83 war criminals, Leading political and military figures, like Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, have been punished (he was sentenced to 40 years). The last case to be heard if for Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic.
        • Detail of atrocities such as Srebrenica (1995) have been made public, making it harder to deny them.
        • Principle that heads of state can be legally held accountable for the actions of their government was established when Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic was tried. He died in custody before a verdict was reached.
      • Cambodia (1997): Tribunal has Cambodian and international judges and has sentenced three Khmer Rouge leaders to life imprisonment:Nuon Chea, chief political ideologist; Kaing Guek Eav, head of the S21 mass killing centre; Khieu Samphan, former head of state.
        • Also fulfilled an educational role by enabling Cambodians, especially those born after the genocide, to understand what happened in the 1970s.
      • Rwanda (1997): Sentenced 61 individuals for complicity in the genocide. These include former PM Jean Kambanda, sentenced to life imprisonment for genocide.
        • Also established legal precedent that **** can be used to perpetrate genocide.
      • Sierra Leone (2002): In 2012 Liberian president Charles Taylor was sentenced to 50 years imprisonment for his role in fomenting violence in Sierra Leone. He is the 1st head of state to be convicted by an international tribunal. Also imprisoned 15 others, including Augustine Gbao, a leading commander of Sierra Leone's RUF, sentenced to 25 years in prison.
    • Criticisms
      • NATO bombing of civilian targets in Serbia in 1999 hasn't been investigated by the tribunal.
      • In the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide, the Tutsi Rwandan Patriotic Front also massacred Hutus, but the tribunal ignored this.
      • Sierra Leone has been funded by Western money, reinforcing the stereotype that African states can't provide justice themselves.
      • Establishment of UN tribunals has been inconsistent, undermining the UN's claim to be establishing new principles of impartial international justice.
        • E.g. Hussein was tried by an Iraqi court established under the authority of the American occupation.


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