Post-War Iraq: Prosecuting Saddam Hussein

49 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2005 Last revised: 20 Oct 2015


On January 9, 2004, the United States officially declared Saddam Hussein a prisoner of war and indicated that it will turn him over to a special court established by the Iraqi Governing Council under the direction of the Coalition Provisional Authority. Yet, prosecution in this forum fails to ensure proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt as required by Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and does not prohibit the death penalty. Further, such prosecution requires the application of Iraqi criminal law and procedure where otherwise unarticulated in the statute creating it. This might allow Hussein to twist the laws he implemented to his advantage. Consequently, this Article focuses on alternative fora for jurisdiction over Hussein, recommends an ad hoc international criminal tribunal that does not provide for the death penalty, and examines Hussein''s liability for genocide against the Kurds and crimes against humanity.

Keywords: international jurisdiction, ICCPR

JEL Classification: K40,K41

Suggested Citation

Burch, Elizabeth Chamblee, Post-War Iraq: Prosecuting Saddam Hussein. California Criminal Law Review, Vol. 7, No. 1, 2004, Available at SSRN:

Elizabeth Chamblee Burch (Contact Author)

University of Georgia Law School ( email )

225 Herty Drive
Athens, GA 30602
United States

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