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Hague Tribunal

HAGUE TRIBUNAL

The Hague Tribunal was an arbitration court established for the purpose of facilitating immediate recourse for the settlement of international disputes. As of 1993, the term is often used to refer to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), which has prose-cutorial and adjudicatory powers. Both entities are commonly referred to transitionally as the Hague Tribunal, although technically speaking, they are not the same.

The Hague Tribunal was established by the Hague Peace Conference in 1899 to provide a permanent court accessible at all times for the resolution of international differences. The court was granted jurisdiction over all arbitration cases, provided the parties thereto did not decide to institute a special tribunal. In addition, an international bureau was established to act as a registry for the tribunal and to serve as the channel of communications with respect to the meetings of the court.

The Hague Tribunal is considered permanent due to the fact that there is a permanent list of members from among whom the arbitrators are chosen. In 1907 at the Second Hague Conference it was provided that of the two arbitrators selected by each of the parties, only one could be a national of the state appointing him or her.

In 1993, the united nations (UN) Security Council passed a resolution to establish within the Hague, Netherlands, an ad hoc international 14-judge court expressly mandated to prosecute and adjudicate war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity committed on the territory of the former Yugoslavia. This International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) is often referred to as the Hague Tribunal. (Subsequent resolutions have increased the court to 16 members as well as a special force of ad litem judges.) The tribunal is composed of three chambers and an appeal chamber. Judges are elected by the UN Assembly but are nominated for four-year terms by their respective countries.

The UN Security Council also chooses a prosecutor who, in the name of the tribunal, brings indictments. The tribunal has power to impose prison sentences up to life but has no power to impose the death penalty. Sentences meted by the tribunal are served in various prison systems of several nations with whom the tribunal has made formal arrangements. The tribunal has no policing power or police force and relies for these on the mandated cooperation of various states for arrests, documents, and compulsory producing of witnesses. It operates on an annual budget of approximately $100 million.

In its first ten years (1993–2003), the tribunal had indicted over 80 defendants (several in custody awaiting trial) and completed 34 trials, for which 29 persons were found guilty. (Of the 29 convictions, 18 were Serbs; nine were Croats; and two were Bosnian Muslims.) One of the more notorious defendants, former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic, faced 66 separate charges of grave crimes, including genocide and other atrocities allegedly involving Slovenia, Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia, and Kosovo. His trial had been continuing for more than a year as of March 2003. Other completed trials included that of General Radislav Krystic, found guilty of genocide in the Srebrenica massacres of as many as 8,000 persons; Croatian General Tihomir Blaskic, found guilty of the massacre of villagers in Ahmici; and General Stanislav Galic, allegedly involved in the killing of civilians in Sarajevo. As of April 2003, two of the most wanted defendants remained at large: President Radovan Karadzic of the Bosnian Serb Republic, and Ratko Mladic, former commander of the Bosnian Serb army.

further readings

"The Lesson of Slobodan Milosevic's Trial and Tribulation." 2003. Economist 366.

Wald, Patricia M. 2002. "Punishment of War Crimes by International Tribunals." Social Research 69.

cross-references

Arbitration; International Court of Justice; International Law; Jurisdiction.

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Hague Tribunal

Hague Tribunal, popular name for the Permanent Court of Arbitration established in 1899 by a convention of the First Hague Peace Conference to facilitate arbitration and other forms of dispute resolution between states. Its headquarters are at The Hague, the Netherlands. In 2009 there were 109 countries adhering to the tribunal's conventions.

Each member nation may appoint to the court up to four jurists versed in international law. A case is initiated when two or more nations sign a compromise, an agreement to submit a dispute to arbitration. The disputants may either select arbitrators from the panel to hear their case or they may have two arbitrators choose an umpire before whom the hearing will be held. The tribunal also maintains a list of arbitrators who specialize in the environment and natural resources. Tribunals sit at The Hague unless another place is specified in the compromise. The Hague Tribunal is administered by the International Bureau, which provides administrative support and has custody of archives, and by the Administrative Council, which is composed of the diplomatic envoys of member nations accredited to the Netherlands and shapes the policy of the organization.

Important cases include the final settlement (1904) of the Venezuela Claims, the North Atlantic Coast Fisheries Arbitration (1910) between the United States and Great Britain, the territorial dispute (1998) between Yemen and Eritrea over islands in the Red Sea, the Eritean-Ethiopian boundary dispute (2002) and war damages claims (2009), and the determination of the boundaries of the contested Abyei region of Sudan (2009). After World War I the Hague Tribunal lost most of its importance to the World Court, which was in 1945 superseded by the International Court of Justice. Unlike the International Court of Justice, the tribunal also hears cases between a nation and a private party.

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Permanent Court of Arbitration

PERMANENT COURT OF ARBITRATION

PERMANENT COURT OF ARBITRATION. SeeInternational Court of Justice .

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Permanent Court of Arbitration

Permanent Court of Arbitration: see Hague Tribunal.

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