PRINCIPLES OF EVIDENCE IN INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL LAW


Caroline Buisman, Christopher Gosnell and Karim A. A. Khan


The purpose of International Criminal Evidence is to provide an overview of the procedure and practice on the admission of evidence before the international criminal tribunals. The emphasis is on day-to-day practice, drawing on the experience of the Yugoslavia, Rwanda and Sierra Leone tribunals. Although common law lawyers sometimes joke that there are no rules of evidence before these tribunals, an extensive jurisprudence has gradually accumulated. Core principles and rules have, to a greater or lesser extent, now emerged. In some areas, interesting divergences between the three main international tribunals can be also discerned. This book is an attempt to define and explain the core principles and rules that have developed; the rationale and origin of those rules; and assess the suitability of those rules in the particular context of international criminal justice.


The authors present a cross-section of the practising international criminal bar, drawn from the ranks of the bench, the prosecution and the defence. They have been chosen not only as astute commentators on their respective subjects, but also because they have access to the daily pronouncements of trial chambers. A recurring theme in this book is the manner in which a legal culture has gradually taken shape in the international tribunals, drawing on the various traditions and experiences of its participants. An informed practitioner can now make relatively quick judgements about which legal rules apply in a particular circumstance, and how they will be applied to a particular question. These authors are uniquely placed to offer their insights on the reality on the ground.


The overall goal of the book is to demystify the world of international criminal evidence, and to ensure that prevailing rules are broadly known and handed on to the next generation of international tribunals. Unfortunately, searching the jurisprudence of the international tribunals is not an easy task and no comprehensive analysis of the rules of evidence has been published for some time. This book fills that void. Such a tool will be helpful not only as a point of reference for the remaining trials of the ad hoc tribunals, but also as a point of inspiration for the next generation of practitioners before the International Criminal Court, who are on the verge of confronting many of the same questions.


Caroline Buisman has been involved in international criminal justice since 1999, first as an intern for the prosecution at the ICTY and participant in various initiatives to establish an International Defence Bar for the ICC. She subsequently worked for different defence teams in the ICTR, ICTY and SCSL, including the case against Charles Taylor. She has a number of publications in the field of international criminal law to her name and taught various courses in international law at Westminster University for a period of two and a half years. She is now completing her PhD at Brunel University on the rules of evidence before international criminal tribunals.


Christopher Gosnell worked as the legal officer of Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal for Rwanda from 2003 until 2006, and now works as a legal officer with the prosecution at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. He was previously a practitioner in New York and spent three years teaching common law method to civil law lawyers at Columbia Law
School. He holds law degrees from Oxford, McGill and Columbia.

Karim A. A. Khan is a barrister practising at 2 Hare Court, Temple, London, a leading set specialising in national and international criminal law and human rights. He has worked as a senior crown prosecutor and at the Law Commission of England and Wales.  From 1997–2000 he worked as a legal adviser in the United Nations International Criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. Since 2000 he has acted in numerous international cases including as lead defence counsel for Charles Taylor before the Special Court for Sierra Leone , before the Special Panels for Serious Crimes in East Timor , and in various cases before the ICTY. He has lectured widely on international criminal law and human rights and is a Senior Research Fellow at King’s College, London. He is the co-author of Archbold International Criminal Court, a contributor to Human Rights Practice (Sweet & Maxwell) and co- editor of the International Criminal Law Reports (Cameron May) and A Commentary to the Rome Statute (Baden-Baden).

ISBN 13: 978 1 905017 57 7

• Hardback • 2008 • £95.00