The United Nations establishes international tribunals for the purpose of prosecuting war criminals. The Netherlands is host country to a number of these tribunals, including the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).
International and domestic law
The first international tribunals were set up in the 1990s to investigate crimes committed by military personnel, politicians and civilians during armed conflict. It concerned the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). Then the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) was set up. The Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC). The ECCC and STL are currently in existence.
The tribunals report to the United Nations Security Council.
These tribunals operate in accordance with the law of the country in question or a combination of domestic and international law. Their judges are also drawn from the country concerned and the international community.
Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC)
The United Nations and Cambodia established the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia in 2006 to prosecute those responsible for crimes committed during the rule of the Khmer Rouge regime (1975-1979).The tribunal has its seat in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh and applies both Cambodian and international law.
The Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL)
The United Nations and Lebanon established the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in 2007 and it opened in 2009. The STL is prosecuting those suspected of carrying out the attack on 14 February 2005 in which the former prime minister of Lebanon, Rafiq Hariri, was killed. The tribunal applies Lebanese law on terrorism.
The Netherlands hosts the STL and is a member of the Management Committee, which is responsible for giving policy direction and advice on non-judicial aspects of the Tribunal's work.