Saddam Hussein's Trial Meets the "Fairness" Test [Full Text]

Ethics & International Affairs, Volume 20.4 (Winter 2006)

September 7, 2006

War crimes trials are often controversial, and few such trials in history have been more so than that of Saddam Hussein, the former president of Iraq. In this trial, controversy has raged over the very nature of war crimes justice, the relevance or otherwise of the legality of the invasion of Iraq and the subsequent formation of a war crimes tribunal to try the ousted Iraqi leader and his top lieutenants, and the courtroom problems of inherently political trials. Despite legitimate concerns in these areas, however, Saddam Hussein has received an appropriate and fair trial, both in light of the specific details of the judicial proceedings and in light of the political nature of war crimes justice in an anarchic system of states.