The Former Iraqi Government on Trial, Human Rights Watch, October 17, 2005 [report concluding that the Iraqi Special Tribunal established to try Saddam Hussein and other former Iraqi officials could violate international standards for fair trials]. Excerpt:
The first trials before the SICT [Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal, the new name for the Iraqi Special Tribunal under a new law passed but not yet promulgated] will be a litmus test for whether it is up to the task of delivering justice. The charges against the accused are the most serious recognized by the international community, and the SICT must be able to demonstrate that it is capable of trying them fairly and independent of political pressure or apprehensions of bias.Read the full text of the report. Reported in JURIST's Paper Chase here.
Fair trials are not only the entitlement of defendants. They are also a prerequisite for acknowledging the experiences of hundreds of thousands of victims of the former regime in an open, transparent and publicly accessible way. In an atmosphere of insecurity and great political uncertainty, the SICT has the challenge of establishing its credibility with Iraqis and the international community. Human Rights Watch has set out several areas of serious concern that need to be addressed by the SICT if it aims to satisfy the promise of delivering justice rather than vengeance.