No Shortcuts on Human Rights – Bail and the International Criminal Trial
70 Pages Posted: 9 Feb 2011
Date Written: July 7, 2010
International tribunals should serve as models for human rights best practices. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has made progress, but ultimately fallen short in serving as such a model in the area of bail or “provisional release,” as it is known there. Lengthy trials, excessive judicial discretion and an unwritten rule that all defendants, whether or not they pose a risk of flight or danger to the community, be detained for their trials raise serious human rights concerns. Focusing on the ICTY, this article explores the human rights implications of provisional release for defendants on trial at international tribunals. It concludes that to achieve one of international criminal justice’s most important goals – promoting respect for human rights – the ICC and other international tribunals should depart from the provisional release model of the ICTY. The article offers proposals for reform, including measures to make release for trial a realistic option.
Keywords: international, criminal, human rights, bail, presumption of innocence, fair trial, transitional justice
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