n South African Journal on Human Rights - The right to a speedy trial before international criminal tribunals

Volume 19, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0258-7203



This article examines an accused individual's right to be tried without delay before international criminal tribunals. It begins by tracing the historical development of this right and by discussing the justifications for its observance. The status of the right in domestic legal systems and in international human rights instruments is then outlined. The article then examines the right to a speedy trial as contained in the statutes of the ad hoc tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. The case law of these two tribunals is analysed and general rules are set forth. The challenges to successful protection of this right are also discussed. Finally, the article looks at the statute of the new International Criminal Court and makes suggestions on protection of the right to a speedy trial, based on the principles developed by the ad hoc tribunals.

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