War Crimes Trial in Bangladesh: A Legal Analysis of Fair Trial Debates
19 Pages Posted: 30 Jun 2016
Date Written: June 29, 2016
The genocide and international crimes committed during the 1971 Bangladesh war were some of the worst in history. After a long wait, the trial of Bangladeshi war criminals finally began in 2010, in the International Crimes Tribunal, a domestic court with jurisdiction over war crimes, crimes against humanity and other international crimes, that was established under the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act of 1973. As has been the case with almost all war-crime trials across the world, defendants raised concerns about their ability to receive a fair trial. This paper assesses the legal implications of the war and international crimes trials in Bangladesh from the perspective of international fair trial standards, examining both the 1973 Act and the trial itself. The paper argues that although the 1973 Act largely complied with fair trial standards, and the courts relied on, or were kept informed about, international standards of fair trial, this could not be said to be true of certain actions by the government.
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