Thursday 24 December 2009
Challenging the International Criminal Tribunals at the European Court of Human Rights
There has been much speculation over the years about the possibility of challenging decisions of the international criminal tribunals before the European Court of Human Rights. Some early attempts, including one by Milosevic, got knocked out for failure to exhaust domestic remedies. In surfing the Court’s website I came across two inadmissibility rulings issued earlier this year, in Galic (http://cmiskp.echr.coe.int/tkp197/view.asp?item=34&portal=hbkm&action=html&highlight=genocide&sessionid=41051435&skin=hudoc-en) and Blagojevic (http://cmiskp.echr.coe.int/tkp197/view.asp?item=35&portal=hbkm&action=html&highlight=genocide&sessionid=41051435&skin=hudoc-en). Both men were convicted by the ad hoc tribunals and had the verdicts confirmed (in part) by the Appeals Chamber. Basically, the European Court refuses to get involved, noting that the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia is a subsidiary body of an intergovernmental organization.