What’s it like to take part as a lawyer in a trial in absentia – one where you have not had any contact with your client? Natalie von Wistinghausen, a Berlin based international criminal lawyer, who defended Hussein Hassan Oneissi recently at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon on terrorism changes, joined us to discuss this, together with Ilaria Zavoli from the University Leeds.
Back in August, the STL finally issued its judgment on those accused of intent to carry out a massive explosion in downtown Beirut in 2005 which killed then prime minister Rafik Hariri and more than 20 others and wounded more than 200.
Ilaria wrote her phd on trials in absentia and live-tweeted the enormous STL judgment summary.
It was first international tribunal since Nuremberg conducted a full trial in absentia. So how does it work? Is it fair? And will we see more of these types of trials – maybe at the International Criminal Court?