Adding Fuel to Milosevic's Fire: How the Use of Substitute Judges Discredits the UN War Crimes Tribunals

51 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2013

See all articles by Megan Fairlie

Megan Fairlie

Florida International University (FIU) - College of Law

Date Written: 2005

Abstract

In February 2004, Judge Richard May, then the presiding member of the three-judge panel appointed to adjudicate the guilt or innocence of Slobodan Milosevic at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, informed the Tribunal of his intent to step down from his leading role in the proceedings. Slightly more than one month later, the two remaining judges decided to continue the trial proceedings by inserting a completely new member into the judicial panel. In making this determination, the judges acted without the consent of the accused, finding their authority in the Tribunal’s judge-made Rules of Procedure and Evidence, in a provision that did not exist at the time that the proceedings against Milosevic began. This article endeavors to assess the fairness of that provision, both generally and in its application in the Milosevic case. In so doing, it advances the theory that substitute judges may not be capable fact finders in their own right. In addition, this work contends that such judges are placed in a position that makes them particularly vulnerable, not only to coercion from forces outside of the Tribunal, but also to undue influence from within the judicial establishment. Accordingly, it is posited that the use of substitute judges potentially threatens the fair trial rights of the accused and may very well serve to undermine the goal of reaching accurate judicial determinations.

Suggested Citation

Fairlie, Megan, Adding Fuel to Milosevic's Fire: How the Use of Substitute Judges Discredits the UN War Crimes Tribunals (2005). Criminal Law Forum, Vol. 16, No. 2, 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2339852

Megan Fairlie (Contact Author)

Florida International University (FIU) - College of Law ( email )

11200 SW 8th St.
RDB Hall 1097
Miami, FL 33199
United States

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