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Defending the ‘Undefendable’? Taking Judicial Notice of Genocide

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the phenomenon of taking judicial notice of adjudicated facts and facts of common knowledge, which is of increasing importance in the practice of the ad hoc Tribunals. It gives a brief outline of the position of the defense in international criminal proceedings. The chapter provides an overview of the practice of judicial notice in international criminal law, as it has developed in the law and practice of the ad hoc Tribunals. At the center of the chapter is a critical analysis of the ICTR Karemera decision, where the appeals chamber took judicial notice of genocide. The taking of judicial notice of adjudicated facts and facts of common knowledge is clearly an invention unique to international criminal tribunals. The most important contemporary international criminal tribunals, the ICTY, ICTR and ICC, are composed of three main organs, the Prosecutor, the judiciary and the Registrar.

Keywords:ad hoc Tribunals; genocide; international criminal law; judicial notice; Karemera decision



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