Affirming Brahimi: East Timor Makes the Case for a Model Criminal Code
American University International Law Review, Vol. 18, p. 1059, 2003
44 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2010
Date Written: 2003
In August of 2000, the Report of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations (the “Brahimi Report”) considered the issue of transitional civil administration as an element of United Nations field operations. The Brahimi Report recommended the creation of an interim legal code as part of a U.N. justice package so that any future UN transitional administrations would be able to address the issue of “applicable law” in the early stages of its mission. Using the experience of the United National Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) as a case study, this article establishes how and why a complete model criminal code for transitional governance would have assisted UNTAET. Providing evidence that a model code would have fostered respect for the rule of law, protected particularly vulnerable segments of the post-conflict population and saved the UN from the embarrassment of running afoul of the international human rights standards it helped to establish, this article contends that a model criminal code would serve as an essential tool for future transitional administrations.
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