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Title: The prosecution’s duty of disclosure before international criminal tribunals
Authors: Alice Chang-Jung, Yang
Advisors: Bantekas, I
Keywords: International criminal court;International criminal procedure;Right to a fair trial;Rights of the defence;Equaliy of arms
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Brunel University London
Abstract: The prosecution’s duty of disclosure is at the heart of an accused’s right to a fair trial. Information and knowledge is power. Owing to the nature of criminal investigation, the prosecution almost always has more time and resources at its disposal in order to prepare its case than the defence. More importantly, the prosecution has access to certain information that the defence would not have and it has the means to access them. As a consequence, in order to ensure the fundamental rights of the accused are respected, it is crucial for the prosecution to disclose any relevant material to the defence in a timely manner so that the latter has a chance to prepare its case adequately. Despite the undeniable importance of this duty, prosecutors routinely violate their obligations of disclosing material to the defence that is of vital importance for case preparations. This thesis, accordingly, asks the question: why are disclosure problems so hard to resolve? Is the disclosure framework really workable in the international criminal tribunals? Public institutions, like the International Criminal Court, are supposed to be the epitome of justice; however, because of its unique characteristics, and perhaps ironically, international criminal law proved to be an ever harsher environment for the defendant when it comes to disclosure of evidence: the accused faces more obstacles when preparing its case and the Courts’ motivation to sanction prosecutors who fail to honour disclosure duties seems to be significantly lower when compared with national jurisdictions. In particular, due to certain difficulties and challenges faced by the international criminal tribunals and international prosecution, it is often argued that the standard of fairness can be different from the ones guaranteed to the accused in domestic courts. This thesis argues that these departures are not justified. Three main areas will be examined and analysed: the context in which the international criminal tribunals operate in, the nature of the prosecutor’s role, and the attitudes of the judges.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the award of Doctor of Philosophy and was awarded by Brunel University London
Appears in Collections:Law
Dept of Politics, History and Law Theses

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