New African Hybrid International Criminal Court Established


By Dan Wade

 

The African Union Commission and Senegal established the Extraordinary African Chambers on August 22, 2012, which opened on February 8, 2013. It is to adjudicate violations of international criminal law committed in Chad between 1982 and 1990. It will have jurisdiction over four crimes: genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and torture.

The Statute of the Court , available only in French may be found here.

The Statute calls for the creation of an administrative office, a prosecutorial office, and the Commission and Senegal will appoint the trial judges. The Statute provides for fair trial guarantees, including a presumption of innocence, the right to trial without undue  delay, the right to counsel, the right of confrontation, and the right to an appeal. The Statute also allows for victim group participation. The accused may be incarcerated in Senegalese prisons. The working language of the court will be in French.

The Court will first try Hissene Habre,  the former dictatior of Chad between 1982 and 1990, who is accused of killing thousands of political prisoners. The pre-trial phase will take place in 2013 with the expectation that the trial will occur next year.

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