Write On!: Proof in International Criminal Trials

bangorFrom 27-28 June 2014, Bangor Law School and the Bangor Centre for International Law will host a conference on proof in international criminal trials, kindly funded by the British Academy. Here is the conference abstract:

“There is now an impressive body of literature on the precise scope, context and application of evidentiary rules in international criminal trials. However, the issues surrounding proof and reasoning on evidence in international criminal law have remained relatively under-examined to date. By bringing together judges, practitioners and leading scholars on evidence, international criminal procedure and analytical methods, this conference will comprehensively address issues related to proof in international criminal proceedings. These issues include, inter alia, the means by which inferences are drawn, how reasoning on findings of fact is articulated in judgments, and how witness credibility is assessed. Participants will analyse some of the challenges of fact-finding in the complex context of international criminal trials, which often involve large masses of evidence and hundreds of witnesses.”

Confirmed speakers include:
• Professor Terence Anderson, University of Miami;
• Professor Nancy Combs, College of William and Mary School of Law;
• Judge Teresa Doherty, Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone;
• Professor John Jackson, University of Nottingham;
• Dr Mark Klamberg, University of Uppsala;
• Dr Yassin M’Boge, Leicester University;
• Dr Yvonne McDermott, Bangor University;
• Professor Paul Roberts, University of Nottingham;
• Professor William Twining, University College London.

There are still a limited number of places available for those who would like to present a paper at the conference. Please contact y.mcdermott@bangor.ac.uk for further information.

Ashgate Companion Symposium: DiBella on Equality of Arms in International Criminal Law

SCHABAS JKT(250X172)pathWe are delighted to welcome Amy DiBella for this guest post. Amy is a defence lawyer based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She wrote her chapter in the Ashgate Research Companion to International Criminal Law: Critical Perspectives with Charles C. Jalloh, Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh. 

In our chapter, “Equality of Arms in International Criminal Law: Continuing Challenges”, we considered the meaning of equality of arms and how is it implemented in international criminal law.

The analysis reveals the disparity between the theory and practice. Although the principle evokes a broad evaluation of fairness, in practice, it is “a lofty goal … applied feebly”. The chapter offers multiple examples of courts shying away from equality and instead embracing a more conservative interpretation of the principle. Rather than require equal resources, the legal principle has been interpreted to require no substantial disadvantage, an adequate opportunity or sufficient time.  Following a brief discussion of the link between equality of arms and the public trial guarantee, the chapter considers how equality of arms is more than a trial right; it is an expansive institutional entitlement which relates to the structural independence of the defence offices. Continue reading

Symposium: Ashgate Research Companion to International Criminal Law: Critical Perspectives

SCHABAS JKT(250X172)path Over the next week, we will be featuring guest posts from contributors to the Ashgate Research Companion to  International Criminal Law: Critical Perspectives, which was published earlier this month. It was edited by myself, William A. Schabas, and Niamh Hayes. The book aims to take  a critical approach to a wide variety of theoretical, practical, legal and policy issues surrounding and underpinning the operation of international criminal law as applied by international criminal tribunals.

Judge Chile-Eboe-Osuji (picture credit)


The book’s 23 chapters, written by well-known authorities in the field of international criminal justice, cover a wide variety of issues, from modes of liability to complementarity and from procedure to politics. The preface is by Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji.

We hope that the forthcoming guest posts, and the book itself, will provide an insight into the continuing challenges of international criminal justice. Thanks to all of our fantastic authors for helping to make this happen!