Unique legal features of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon

Available in Russian

Author: Ivana Hrdličková

DOI: 10.21128/2226-2059-2019-4-103-110

Keywords: criminal law; International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism; Lebanese law; prosecution of legal entities; Special Tribunal for Lebanon; trials in absentia


This article is dedicated to the unique features of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, which is the first international court prosecuting terrorism in times of peace and the only one dealing with the Middle East. The author introduces the establishment of the Tribunal by the Security Council under the Chapter 7 of the United Nations Charter and its specific mandate over persons responsible for the attack of 14 February 2014 resulting in death the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, death of 21 people and injury to a further 226. Next, the author elaborates on an important contribution into the development of the International Criminal law made by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon: providing a definition of the terrorism under the customary international law. Another unique feature of the Tribunal is the applicable law, which is a mix of Lebanese law and International law, while the procedural law reflects a hybridization of civil and common law traditions. Regarding the nature of evidence, the STL hears highly technical evi- dence based on the Call Data Records and cell cite analysis. The author provides comprehensive information with respect to trials in absentia which are allowed by the Tribunal’s Statute and its Rules of Evidence and Procedure, once the strict requirements for such trials have been met. Another unique feature of the STL is the independent Defence Office established with a purpose of the protection of the rights of the accused, especially con- sidering proceedings held in absentia, as well as providing the assistance and support to the defence counsels. An important element of the Tribunal  is the participation of victims to present their views and concerns during the trial. Next, article provides an extensive explanation on unique development as a prosecution of legal persons for the contempt of the court before the STL. However, it remains to be seen how this feature would affect International Criminal law in general. In the conclusion, the articles summarizes all unique elements of the STL in the development of the international justice.

About the author: Ivana Hrdličková – President of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, Leidschendam, the Netherlands.

Citation: Hrdličková I. (2019) Unikal’nye pravovye svoystva Spetsial’nogo tribunala po Livanu [Unique legal features of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon].Mezhdunarodnoe pravosudie, vol. 9, no. 4, pp. 103–110. (In Russian).