Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Lockerbie Trial and the Rule of Law – Hans Koechler

This in from the IPO information service on the Lockerbie Trial :

The Lockerbie Trial and the Rule of Law

Criminal Justice in the Framework of International Power Politics

Article for the National Law School of India Review, Vol. 19 (2009)

Vienna, Austria, 13 March 2009

In an article for the forthcoming issue of the National Law School of India Review (NLSIR), the international observer appointed by the United Nations at the Scottish Court in the Netherlands, Dr. Hans Koechler, has summarized his evaluation of the handling of the Lockerbie case by the Scottish and British authorities.

In the article, written upon invitation by students from the National Law School of India (Bangalore), Köchler deals with the delaying tactics and the apparent strategy of the political establishment and judicial authorities to cover up the errors and malpractices that have led to a situation in which, ten years after the beginning of the trial and seven years after the end of the first appeal proceedings, still no plausible explanation is (officially) available for the explosion of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie on 21 December 1988.

The article concludes with a quote from Köchler's keynote speech at the Law Awards of Scotland 2008, which highlights the dilemma of the new appeal proceedings that are eventually to begin in April 2009:

Whether those in public office like it or not, the Lockerbie trial has become a test case for the criminal justice system of Scotland. At the same time, it has become an exemplary case on a global scale - its handling will demonstrate whether a domestic system of criminal justice can resist the dictates of international power politics or simply becomes dysfunctional as soon as "supreme state interests" interfere with the imperatives of justice.

Hans Köchler, "The Lockerbie Trial and the Rule of Law," NLSIR 19 (2009), advance access (pdf)

No comments: