The Hague - the legal capital of the world

1st March 2009, Comments 0 comments

The Hague has been dubbed the "legal capital of the world" by former UN secretary general Boutros Boutros-Ghali.

THE HAGUE - The Special Tribunal for Lebanon will become one of five international tribunals based in the Dutch seat of government.

It was created by a 2007 UN Security Council resolution to try those behind a series of attacks on Lebanese political and media personalities, notably Hariri's assassination in a car bombing in February 2005 that also killed 22 other people.

The tribunal will apply the Lebanese penal code, and has an initial, renewable mandate of three years. No date has been set for its first trial.

Like most of the other international tribunals in The Hague, it rents holding cells at the Dutch penitentiary in the seaside suburb of Scheveningen.

The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) was created by the UN Security Council in 1993 to adjudicate genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the 1990s Balkans wars.

The tribunal also hosts the appeals chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, which has its seat in Arusha, Tanzania.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) started operations in the city in 2002.

It is mandated by signatory states to its founding statute to judge individuals for war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and crimes of cross-border aggression.

An ICC courtroom hosts the trial of former Liberian president Charles Taylor, whose hearing as part of the Special Court for Sierra Leone was moved out of Freetown to avoid stirring unrest in the west African region.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration is the oldest international justice institution in The Hague, sharing office space at the Peace Palace with the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

It is an inter-governmental organ created by an 1899 convention to regulate litigation between states and other parties, including international organisations and individuals.

The ICJ, the top judicial organ of the United Nations, was created in 1945 by the signing of the UN Charter. It adjudicates disputes between states.

AFP/ Expatica

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