The Milosevic Trial: Lessons for the Conduct of Complex International Criminal Proceedings

The Milosevic Trial: Lessons for the Conduct of Complex International Criminal Proceedings

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By (author) Gideon Boas, Foreword by Geoffrey Robertson

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  • Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Format: Paperback | 326 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 222mm x 20mm | 522g
  • Publication date: 24 September 2007
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge
  • ISBN 10: 0521700396
  • ISBN 13: 9780521700399
  • Edition: 1
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations
  • Sales rank: 840,197

Product description

When Slobodan Milosevic died in the United Nations Detention Unit in The Hague over four years after his trial had begun, many feared - and some hoped - that international criminal justice was experiencing some sort of death itself. Yet the Milosevic case, the first trial of a former head of state by a truly international criminal tribunal and one of the most complex and lengthy war crimes trials in history, stands for much in the development and the future of international criminal justice, both politically and legally. This book, written by the senior legal advisor working for the Trial Chamber, analyses the trial to determine what lessons can be learnt that will improve the fair and expeditious conduct of complex international criminal proceedings brought against former heads of state and senior political and military officials, and develops reforms for the future achievement of best practice in international criminal law.

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Author information

Gideon Boas was the senior legal advisor to the Chamber on the Milo evic case. He is now a Senior Fellow at the Asia Pacific Centre for Military Law, University of Melbourne, a Sessional Lecturer at Monash University, and a Senior Consultant at Potter Farrelly & Associates.

Review quote

'... Mr Boas's criticism proceeds from an analysis that is both expert and from the inside: he was the senior legal adviser to the trial judges, sitting in court for four years, from the day on which the prosecution opened to the day on which the trial collapsed. He shows the trial's failings, precisely and irrefutably, and his insight must inform and instruct the future development of international justice. The lessons he draws will be pondered in other courts trying truculent defendants, most notably in the International Criminal Court now taking shape in The Hague.' Geoffrey Robertson QC 'Mr Boas' book constitutes an invaluable document full of hindsight on how to avoid this peril and it will prove worthwhile reading all those interested in the events in the former Yugoslavia and international criminal justice.' Vincent Roobaert, Nato Legal Gazette 'This is a definitive appraisal of the Milosevic trial and the future of international war crimes proceedings ... Every war crimes tribunal prosecutor, defence counsel, and judge should have a copy of Dr Boas's book on his or her desk, as it is essential reading for those involved in complex international criminal trials.' Michael P. Scharf, Professor of Law, Case Western Reserve University '... beautifully written and well presented. It displays a thorough command of the literature on international criminal courts and the jurisprudence of such courts. It investigates and analyses the Milosevic trial comprehensively and in the greatest detail. ... [it] constitutes a substantive original contribution to international criminal law in general and to the management of complex international criminal proceedings in particular. ... will be hailed as an invaluable historical record of one of the Milosevic trial and a balanced appraisal of the problems raised by the trial. One hopes that the lessons drawn by Boas will be heeded by the judges of all international criminal tribunals.' Professor John Dugard, Leiden University 'Mr Boas' book constitutes an invaluable document full of hindsight ... it will prove worthwhile reading for all those interested in the events in the former Yugoslavia and international criminal justice.' NATO Legal Gazette 'Boas's account will surely stand as the most exhaustive analysis of the many procedural complexities of the Milosevic trial. His study is a product of considerable scholarship and experience, and distils important lessons for the conduct of future international criminal trials, particularly those involving obstructionist defendants keen to grandstand or politicise proceedings. It is to be hoped that those involved in the trial of Charles Taylor at The Hague pay careful attention ...at the heart of Boas's book is a consideration of how to protect an accused's right to a fair trial while keeping complex criminal proceedings within reasonable limits ... 'Fairness' is a notoriously elusive concept in international criminal law but Boas provides a methodical discussion of the elements necessary to ensure a fair trial.' Australian Book Review 'By applying the lessons learned from the Milosevic case, Boas makes compelling arguments from improving the way that complex international criminal proceedings are conducted. ... Anyone working in (or simply interested in) the rapidly growing field of international criminal law will find many thoughtful suggestions here. We ignore Boas's advice at the risk of repeating what happened in the Milosevic case.' The American Journal of International Law 'Boas exploits his intimate familiarity with the Milosevic case to offer a thorough and illuminating discussion of the legal and strategic dilemmas that faced the prosecution and the court from start to finish. ... The Milosevic Trial provides an excellent elaboration of the procedural parameters within which prosecutorial and judicial decisions must be made and provides compelling analysis on the fairness and expeditiousness of various options. Boas draws on a deep and expansive knowledge of international criminal procedure and for international criminal lawyers and judges the book is a valuable resource.' Yale Journal of International Law '... deserves to be read and learned from as a thoughtful and remarkable account of one of the most important cases in recent international criminal legal history.' International Criminal Law Review

Table of contents

Introduction; Part I. Fair and Expeditious International Criminal Trials: 1. Introduction; 2. Fair trial rights; 3. Expeditious trials; 4. Application and interpretation of human rights by the ICTY; Part II. The Prosecution Case in Milosevic - Getting Off on the Wrong Foot: 5. Content and scope of the Milosevic indictments; 6. Pleading practice and problems with the Milosevic indictments; 7. Joinder of the Milo evic indictments; 8. Rule 98bis (judgement of acquittal) decision; 9. Conclusion; Part III. Case Management Challenges in the Milo evic Trial: 10. Managing the Milo evic case; 11. Case management principles in national and international criminal law; 12. Conclusion; Part IV. Representation and Resource Issues in the Milosevic Case: 13. Self-representation in international criminal law - limitations and qualifications on that right; 14. Resources and facilities available to Milosevic; 15. Conclusion; Part V. Conclusions: 16. The prosecution case must be focused, comprehensible and manageable; 17. The future of case management in complex international criminal law cases; 18. Managing resource and representation issues in complex international criminal law cases; 19. The need for a new appellate jurisdiction for international criminal law; 20. After Milosevic: the future of complex international criminal trials.