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STL Defence Teams Challenge Legality of the Court

16 May 2012 by Administrator


Defence teams for the accused in the case of Ayyash et al have filed preliminary motions challenging the jurisdiction of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL).


The Defence Team for Assad Sabra, led by David Young of 9 Bedford Row International, challenged the jurisdiction of the STL on the basis that it violates: the Lebanese legal and constitutional order; the core principles of the United Nations Charter, including respect for State sovereignty and the rule of law; and important human rights safeguards as a result of the displacement of Lebanese jurisdictions by an international special court.


The Defence teams argue that Lebanon did not properly consent to be bound by the “agreement” with the UN as the agreement was negotiated, adopted and signed by persons acting without the requisite legal capacity, the agreement was never ratified in compliance with the Lebanese Constitution, and the agreement therefore never entered into force.


The Defence teams also argue that UN Security Council Resolution 1757 illegally bypassed the law of treaties in contravention of the UN’s intention to establish the STL on a conventional basis.


The motions further argue that the UN Security Council acted ultra vires in adopting Resolution 1757 under its Chapter VII powers as the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri could not be considered a threat to international peace and security.


As an unlawfully and unconstitutionally established body, the Defence teams submit, the STL therefore fails to meet the minimum requirement that it be “established by law”. Consequently, the STL is unable to meet basic fair trial standards.


Read the Ayyash motion here.


Read the Badreddine motion here.


Read the Oneissi motion here.


Read the Sabra motion here.

Tagged STL







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