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Trial In Absentia At The International Criminal Tribunal For Rwanda

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Chapter Summary

Trial in absentia was specifically permitted by the Charter of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremburg. During the next 50 years, before the establishment of the ad hoc Tribunals, attitudes towards trial in absentia changed. By the time the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) Statute was enacted in 1994, the right of an accused to be tried in his or her presence was an international norm. The issue of trial in absentia was the topic of a long and arduous debate during the drafting of the Rome Statute, with the parties preferring to treat the issue as it was practiced in their own national jurisdiction. Although trials in absentia were authorized and conducted at Nuremburg after World War II, a qualified right to be present at one's trial has become firmly rooted in modern international treaties and decisions interpreting them.

Keywords: International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR); Roman Statute; trial in absentia



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