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Can the Lubanga trial proceed?

On Saturday, Opinio Juris reported that the obstacles in the Lubanga case may have been lifted and that the trial may continue. Apparently, the solution was brought about by the UN itself, who agreed to disclose the disputed evidence not only to the judges of the Trial Chamber but also to the defense.

This whole process may – although it certainly did not look this way a couple of days ago – indeed have strengthened the position of the ICC. The judges have made it clear that although one is dealing with the worst cases of criminal acts committed by individuals, standards of fair trial and especially the right to a fair defense have to be followed even before this international court. Since this court is a permanent institution – one of the significant features of the ICC – it is encouraging to see that the judges do not push for the first conviction at all costs but instead seek to establish the court and its procedure on a thorough legal basis.


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