Cure Worse than Disease? Comments on Four Final Decisions of the Court of Appeal of East Timor Concerning Serious Crimes
Annotated Leading Cases, Vol. XVI, pp. 879-923, 2009
54 Pages Posted: 4 Dec 2010
Date Written: August 1, 2008
This expanded and revised version of the commentary that previously appeared in the ALC series, is devoted to the appellate judgments in four cases decided by the Special Panels for Serious Crimes in East Timor in 2004-2005. The annotation focuses on the problematic interpretations and application of substantive and procedural (intenational criminal) law by the Court of Appeal, the de facto highest judicial organ in the fledgling independent state of East Timor. It evaluates the legacy left by that Court in part of the serious crimes adjudication in broader context. The relatively modest success achieved by the SPSC process, and its appellate component in particular, in terms of its contribution to international criminal jurisprudence is explained by the fact that throughout its shortlived existence, it had been impaired by limited funding, staffing problems, logistical mishaps and faltering political support.
Keywords: Special Panels for Serious Crimes, East Timor, Court of Appeal, scope of appellate powers, right to appeal, reasoned decision, sentencing
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