Towards a Principled Justification for the Mixed Composition of Hybrid International Criminal Tribunals

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Leiden Journal of International Law, 2017, 30 (1), pp. 177 - 197
Issue Date:
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© 2016 Foundation of the Leiden Journal of International Law. The justification for a majority of international judges sitting on hybrid international criminal tribunals is tremendously undertheorized. At present, policymakers must rely on base pragmatic considerations that allege that local judges are either too incapable or too corrupt. This may or may not be true. It is, however, certainly unattractive and inadequate as an argument. In this article, I sketch out a principled theoretical argument defending internationalization of hybrid tribunals. Drawing on debates in municipal jurisdictions on the principle of fair reflection, my principled justification centres on institutional and sociological legitimacy. As international crimes strike at two societies - the local and the global - hybrid tribunals should be composed of both international and local judges. In principle, the severity of international crimes dictates that international judges should predominate. However, peculiar contextual factors may suggest moderating the principle of fair reflection in appropriate circumstances.
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