Cover Abels

Prisoners of the international community - The legal position of persons detained at international criminal tribunals

2012 Author: Dr Denis Abels, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands



  • Published: 2012
  • Pages: xviii + 847 pp.
  • Publisher: T.M.C. ASSER PRESS
  • Distributor: Springer

This book addresses a specific aspect of international criminal law. It describes the legal position and conditions of persons detained under the jurisdiction of international criminal tribunals, particularly as regards their internal legal position, their rights and duties inside the remand facility. Central to the book is the understanding that the circumstances surrounding these persons’ detention are different from a domestic context.

The author’s primary aim is to disclose the law of detention of international criminal tribunals. The book sets out the applicable law, including the law’s underlying principles, and focuses on a number of specific procedural and substantive legal issues. As to procedural issues, it examines the available disciplinary and complaints procedures as well as procedures applicable to the designation of States for the enforcement of the tribunals’ sentences. In respect of substantive law, it focuses on the detainees’ right to contact with the outside world, including contact with their relatives, with their lawyers and with the media. The book further examines whether the positive law corresponds to the relevant international penal standards and human rights law.

As an outcome of immediate exchanges (interviews) between the author and the authorities involved, the author provides a substantial clarification and critical assessment of the current issues and paradoxes of the domain in question.

The book will be an extremely useful guide for practitioners in applying the law and principles of the tribunals’ detention law, particularly because it is the first monograph written on the topic.

Dr. Denis Abels is Assistant Professor of Criminal Law at the University of Amsterdam and a research fellow at the Amsterdam Center of International Law.

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