When the ad hoc Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda were created, probably no one thought that they would actually work, however, over the course of fifteen years, these Tribunals have shown that justice can be done independently and impartially while ensuring the highest standards. high with regard to the rights of the defense.
The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia has already concluded the trials against more than sixty people (nine defendants have been acquitted, fifty-five have been convicted, some have already served their sentences in full), other proceedings are ongoing or are about to start.
In all, four defendants remain at large (including well-known Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic). The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda tried thirty defendants (three acquitted and twenty-eight convicted), including the prime minister of Rwanda at the time of the genocide and numerous members of the government and administration; other processes are currently in progress or about to start. Thirteen defendants remain at large, the best known of whom is undoubtedly Félicien Kabuga, a wealthy and powerful Rwandan businessman who, among other things, allegedly imported the machetes with which the genocide was committed.
Today it is possible to affirm that thanks to the Cortes a highly articulated system has been developed in the field of repression of international crimes.
Obviously, the fact that these organs had been created through a purely emergency instrument has always aroused perplexity and "overshadows" their work. In this regard, the failure of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia to carry out in-depth investigations into the crimes committed by NATO during the bombing of Kosovo has drawn much more than criticism. In addition to this, it has always been questioned that so far no investigation has been made public against members of the Rwandan Patriotic Front, which took over the country's government after the genocide.
Naturally, the aforementioned Tribunals were established from the beginning as a measure for the restoration and maintenance of peace in the regions involved; once this objective had been achieved, it was foreseeable that the Security Council would decide to terminate its activities. However, this in no way means that the need for justice has ceased. In this sense, the Permanent International Criminal Court was established, with broad and non-selective jurisdiction, precisely to try to disprove the criticisms directed at the ad hoc Tribunals and to substantiate the need for a pre-existing judicial mechanism regarding the execution of crimes. .
In this sense, it is of fundamental importance not to overlook that the Courts leave a very rich set of experiences that should not be lost. It involves legal experience (through procedural decisions, judgments, regulatory norms), but also practical experience (in the field of investigations, in terms of organizing special witness protection programs, in relation to the management of the system of information for the presentation of evidence, etc.) and humans. In this sense, a total handover between these ad hoc bodies and the Permanent Criminal Court, established in Rome in 1998, and which is now fully operational, would be desirable.
Logically, "doing justice to the stopwatch" is very difficult; Certainly, justice requires speed, but it must be reconciled with the need to proceed to an accurate reconstruction of reality.
In this context, so complicated and constantly evolving, the Italian and International Criminal Law Office ILA can perform, through its professionals, who deal specifically with national and international law, a fundamental role of support and advice.