find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (3-5 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Dynamic organisation ·
View details
Real Estate & Projects Lawyer (6+ years PAE)
Category: Property Law | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Top tier firm with offices nationally · High profile clients
View details
Mladic should be tried like Hussein

Mladic should be tried like Hussein

Prosecutors indicting accused war criminal Ratko Mladic should look at the trial of Saddam Hussein to ensure Mladic's trial is fair and efficient, a leading international lawyer has…

Prosecutors indicting accused war criminal Ratko Mladic should look at the trial of Saddam Hussein to ensure Mladic's trial is fair and efficient, a leading international lawyer has said.

Speaking to Lawyers Weekly, Dr Gideon Boas, a senior lecturer at Monash University and former Senior Legal Officer at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), said Mladic's trial is likely to go on for at least four years unless changes are made to the way in which the tribunal's trials are run.

"There are many concerns which challenge ideas of fairness in war crimes trials, and that includes the way in which the trials are conducted," said Boas.

"There is a question about whether the prosecution should bring fewer charges against an accused, such as Mladic. He is charged with crimes such as the Srebrenica genocide, the siege of Sarajevo and a whole range of other crimes in municipalities in Bosnia. If the prosecution runs that entire indictment it will take a long time, so there is pressure on them to drop some areas of the indictment to enable the case to be shorter and more focused."

According to Boas, it is the sheer scale of war crimes trials - which often include tens of thousands of victims - which makes them costly and inefficient.

While this goes against the basic right to a fair and expeditious trial, Boas said it is also testing the will of the international community to fund such trials - a point demonstrated by Australia's decision last month to scale back funding to the International Criminal Court.

"One of the greatest threats to international criminal law is the diminishing will of the international community to fund it. The ICTY, which is now trying a handful of people, costs about $US150 million a year," he said.

"And when the trial takes a long time to commence, as in the case of [the International Criminal Tribunal for] Rwanda for example, there are cases that haven't finished yet and the accused has been in custody for over 10 years. Or, in the case of someone like Milosevic, when the actual trial itself goes on for four or five years, there is also a question about the capacity of the defendant to sustain a trial of that length and volume. That is a major concern."

According to Boas, the trial of Saddam Hussein, despite the controversies which surrounded it, does provide an example of ways in which such trials can be run better.

"Although that tribunal had some very serious legitimacy issues, the way the prosecution went about prosecuting him was very clever and clearly in reaction to the problem in the trial of Milosevic," he explained.

"They charged Hussein with one incident ... and prosecuted him for that and got a conviction. Then they moved on to the next indictment. It was a much more focused approach and a much more efficient and expeditious trial as a result of that."

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Mladic should be tried like Hussein
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Professionals unite in support of marriage equality
The presidents of representative bodies for solicitors, barristers and doctors in NSW have come toge...
Aug 21 2017
Is your firm on the right track for gig economy gains?
Promoted by Crowd & Co. The way we do business, where we work, how we engage with workers, ev...
Scales of Justice, Victorian County Court, retiring judges
Aug 21 2017
Replacements named for retired Vic judges
Two new judicial officers have been appointed in the Victorian County Court, following the retire...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...