Vance Center Highlights the Financial Crisis Threatening the Special Tribunal in Lebanon

June 2021

The Vance Center initiated a letter from the New York City Bar Association to UN ambassadors of the United States and several other countries on the financial crisis threatening to close the UN Special Tribunal for Lebanon. Established to prosecute those accused of the February 2005 attack that killed 22 people, including the former prime minister of Lebanon, Rafik Hariri, and injured 226 others, the Tribunal has been instrumental in the evolution of international justice: the first international tribunal to establish that terrorism is an international crime and to prosecute it; the first international tribunal to try cases under national law; and, the first to have an independent Defense Office with equal status to the Office of the Prosecutor to protect the rights of the accused to a fair trial. The Vance Center and the New York City Bar Association called on States contributing to the Tribunal’s funding to act promptly to avert this unprecedented crisis, which gravely threatens the future of the Tribunal and sets a dangerous precedent for the future of international justice. The entire letter is available here.