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Title: Hybrid Legitimacy: An Analysis of the Effectiveness of Hybrid Tribunals in International Criminal Law
Authors: Badrei, Kaveh
Advisors: Bass, Gary
Department: Woodrow Wilson School
Class Year: 2020
Abstract: Hybrid tribunals of international criminal law—courts that combine national and international elements in the pursuit of justice for war crimes, human rights violations, and crimes against humanity—offer significant hope in the fight against impunity for abuses of human rights and international law. By largely avoiding the financial and political costs of fully international tribunals and operating in the country where the crimes were committed, hybrids stand as viable instruments of justice in today’s world by leveraging a much more localized form of international criminal justice for victims. Understanding these hybrid mechanisms to be more innovative and more promising tools of global justice than the fully international bodies pioneered in the 1990s, such as the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Court, this thesis takes up the fundamental question of effectiveness as it relates to hybrid tribunals. What exactly accounts for a hybrid court’s effective outcome? For states that decide to implement hybrid tribunals, what factors determine the success or failure of the court in providing a sense of justice and accountability to victims and ensuring an end to impunity? In essence, understanding the potential of these judicial mechanisms, how should hybrid tribunals be implemented in post-conflict situations to effectively carry out justice? By approaching this question through a paired comparative analytical method, I studied the implementation of hybrid courts in Sierra Leone and Cambodia in the wake of the Sierra Leone Civil War and Khmer Rouge genocide respectively. As its framework for comparing the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), this thesis analyzes the structure and administration, jurisdiction and cases, and victim outreach and participation mechanisms for each hybrid tribunal. I argue that effectiveness for hybrid tribunals depends upon the establishment of a two-fold sense of legitimacy. Foremost, legitimacy for hybrid courts necessitates a sense of legalism, the attitude of a tribunal to adopt principled, rule-based procedures and due process in its execution of justice. Secondly, legitimacy demands the strategic and balanced coordination of a hybrid’s national and international components together. Effective hybrid courts leverage their domestic and international features cohesively and channel this purposeful harmony for successful outcomes and results. These two pillars of legitimacy constitute, what I term, hybrid legitimacy: a form of legitimacy that combines legalistic demands for rule-following principles of due process with the requirements to strategically leverage a hybrid’s national and international parts for ultimately effectiveness. This finding and the crucial significance of hybrid legitimacy in the conduct and effectiveness of hybrid tribunals provide useful and necessary information for their continued implementation and development as tools of post-conflict justice and accountability. As promising tools of human rights protection and international criminal law, effective hybrid tribunals serve as key opportunities to channel global justice to more forcefully and more directly serve the localized needs of victims around the world.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, 1929-2020

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