The Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal
NPR reported this morning that Tariq Aziz, former Iraqi Foreign Minister under Saddam Hussein, begins trial today for the execution of forty-two food merchants in 1992. Aziz, 72, has been in prison for over 5 years and is challenging the charges. In the Anfal Campaign Trial, Gen. Ali Hassan Majeed, aka Chemical Ali for his use of poisonous gas against villagers, has already been sentenced to death by hanging for the mass killings of Kurds during the Sadaam era. Here you can find an English translation of the Anfal Campaign Judgment. Of course, Saddam Hussein was convicted, sentenced to death, and executed by the Iraqi Special Tribunal on December 30, 2006.
The Iraqi Special Tribunal, also known as the Iraqi High Tribunal or the Special Iraqi Criminal Tribunal (SICT), was initially created in 2003 by the Statute of the Iraqi Special Tribunal (also found here), issued by the now-dissolved Coalition Provisional Authority and enacted by the Iraqi Governing Council. Due to legitimacy questions raised as a result of the Tribunal being established by an occupying force, the Iraqi Interim Government passed a new statute (pdf) in 2005 creating the current Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal (SICT). The SICT, like its predecessor, is an independent tribunal located in Baghdad devoted to the prosecution of Saddam Hussein and the leaders of his regime for war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and other crimes committed between 1968 and 2003.
The Law Library of Congress has an excellent website on the trial of Saddam Hussein. The site includes primary documents and secondary resources pertaining to Saddam Hussein's trial, the creation of the Special Tribunal and appeal, and the laws, treaties, and resolutions related to the Tribunal and relevant trials.
The Yale Law Library has many books written on the Hussein trial, the Tribunal, and Iraq generally. See, for example, Saddam on Trial: Understanding and Debating the Iraqi High Tribunal. Also try a Subject Heading serach: Hussein, Saddam. All Iraqi foreign law is classified under KMJ and can be found on the Lower East Side. For electronic resources pertaining to Iraqi law, see our Country-by-Country guide to legal research. Finally, for research assistance, don't hesitate to contact the reference team.
Special Tribunal for Lebanon
On February 14, 2005, Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and 22 other were killed in a bomb attack in Beirut. The act was immediately condemned as a "terrorist bombing" in a formal statement by the President of the United Nations Security Council. Shortly thereafter, the U.N. appointed an international independent investigation Commission. About one year later, on May 29, 2006, pursuant to Security Council resolution 1664, the United Nations
and the Lebanese Republic negotiated an agreement on the establishment
of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. Further, pursuant to Security Council
resolution 1757 (Annex and Statute included) of May 30, 2007, the U.N. Security Council held, inter alia, that the Statute of the Special Tribunal,
would enter into force on June 10, 2007.
The U.N. Special Tribunal website has a complete list of documents relating to the creation of the Special Tribunal. There is also a timeline of events and a factsheet explaining the procedures and applicable law of the Special Tribunal.
Lebanese criminal law relating to the prosecution and punishment for acts of terrorism and crimes and offenses against life and personal integrity will apply to the Special Tribunal; the death penalty and forced labor have been excluded as possible punishments for those found guilty.
The Law Library of Congress has created a report, the Hariri Assassination Legal Commentary, also available in pdf, that "explains some of the legal issues relevant to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon by discussing:
- the jurisdictional basis for international judicial bodies;
- examining the jurisdictional reach of mixed tribunals;
- exploring the legal nature of the February 14, 2005 bombing; and
a number of legal questions for which the final answers may shape
radically the jurisdictional reach of international criminal law."
Ulrich Mans and Lisette Sinkeler of the Hague Center for Strategic Studies express their opinion on the Special Tribunal (also in pdf). The report notes that eight anti-Syrian politicians have been killed since 2004, and acknowledges that the Hague will become, for Lebanese and Syrians, a place of "public accusation of the most influential elites in Syria."
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad repeatedly denies that his country had anything to do with the murder of Prime Minister Hariri. (See, CNN interview, among many other news reports in the BBC, NYT, and others).
Security Council Report, a non-profit working with Columbia University's Center on International Organization, has monthly reports on Lebanon as well as key U.N. documents referenced in their reports.