Monday, October 1, 2012

Media Advisory - Appeals Chamber hearing on jurisdiction - Background

Leidschendam, 1 October 2012 - The Appeals Chamber is holding a public hearing on 1 October 2012 to allow the Defence to present challenges to the Tribunal's jurisdiction on appeal.
Defence counsel have appealed a ruling by the Trial Chamber that confirmed the Tribunal's legality and jurisdiction over the 14 February 2005 attack in Beirut.
If the Appeals Chamber upholds the STL's jurisdiction, preparations will continue for the tentative start of trial on 25 March 2013.
Defence lawyers argued in their appeals that the UN Security Council abused its power when it adopted Resolution 1757, which established the Tribunal. Defence counsel added that the Appeals Chamber has the power to review the legality of the Resolution and to declare that the Special Tribunal for Lebanon was illegally established.
"Security Council Resolutions are not unassailable documents," the Defence team for Salim Ayyash, one of the accused, said in its appeal.
The Defence team for Mustafa Badreddine also argued that the 14 February 2005 attack did not constitute a threat to international peace and security, and that the Tribunal's establishment was intended for the benefit of one political faction.
In July, the Trial Chamber dismissed the Defence motions, saying that the Tribunal was set up legally, that it does not violate Lebanese sovereignty, and that it guarantees the accused the right to a fair trial. The Trial Chamber concluded that it did not have the authority to review a Security Council Resolution, and that Lebanon never claimed that the Tribunal was a violation of its sovereignty.
The Appeals Chamber also specified a number of legal issues which it invites the parties to address during the hearing.