No Shortcuts on Human Rights – Bail and the International Criminal Trial

70 Pages Posted: 9 Feb 2011

See all articles by Caroline Davidson

Caroline Davidson

Willamette University - College of Law

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

Suggested Citation

Davidson, Caroline, No Shortcuts on Human Rights – Bail and the International Criminal Trial (July 7, 2010). American University Law Review, Vol. 60, No. 1, 2010. Available at SSRN:

Caroline Davidson (Contact Author)

Willamette University - College of Law ( email )

245 Winter St. SE
Salem, OR 97301
United States

Register to save articles to
your library


Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics