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The Prosecution of Corporations before a Hybrid International Criminal Tribunal

The New TV and Akhbar Beirut Contempt Jurisdiction Decisions of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon

Journal African Journal of International Criminal Justice, Issue 1-2 2016
Keywords Special Tribunal for Lebanon, international criminal law, personal jurisdiction, corporate criminal liability, interpretation of Rules of Procedure and Evidence
Authors Manuel J. Ventura
AbstractAuthor's information

    This case note considers two decisions from two separate Appeals Panels of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (“STL”) which held that the STL possessed the inherent power, pursuant to its inherent jurisdiction in matters relating to contempt, to exert its ratione personae jurisdiction over legal persons – two Lebanese corporations – accused of contemptuous conduct. These decisions opened the door for the first trials of corporate defendants in the history of international criminal law. The analyses of the Appeals Panels are pertinent to unresolved debates before United States (“US”) courts on whether the US Alien Tort Statute recognizes corporate liability for violations of the law of nations; raise the issue of the proper place of the principle of legality when jurisdictional questions arise as well as the proper interpretation of the STL’s Rules of Procedure and Evidence; and also have implications for other international criminal tribunals with provisions regulating contempt of court that are similarly worded to those in place at the STL.


Manuel J. Ventura
LL.M. (Hons) (Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights). Associate Legal Officer, Chambers, Special Tribunal for Lebanon; Director, The Peace and Justice Initiative <www.peaceandjusticeinitiative.org>; Adjunct Fellow, School of Law, Western Sydney University. Email: manuel.j.ventura@gmail.com.
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