Lessons from the Saddam Trial. Debate: Did Saddam Get a Fair Trial?

Date of Event



October 6, 2006

Presented by: Frederick K. Cox International Law Center

War Crimes Research Symposium Moderator: Gary Simson, Dean and Joseph C. Hostetler-Baker & Hostetler Professor, Case School of Law Arguing No: - Kevin Jon Heller, Faculty of Law, University of Auckland, New Zealand - Kenneth Roth, Executive Director, Human Rights Watch Arguing Yes: - Professor Michael Scharf, Case School of Law - Professor Michael Newton, Vanderbilt University Law School Billed by the international media as the "real trial of the century," the televised proceedings in the first case before the Iraqi High Tribunal were punctuated by gripping testimony of atrocities, controversial judicial rulings, assassinations of defense counsel, resignation of judges, scathing outbursts, allegations of mistreatment by the defendants, hunger strikes, and even underwear appearances. Was it a mistake to try Saddam in Baghdad before a panel of Iraqi judges? Was the Iraqi High Tribunal a legitimate judicial institution? Were the proceedings fundamentally fair? Did the judges react properly to the defendants attempts to derail the proceedings? Was the media coverage of the trial comprehensive and accurate? And what are the lessons for future war crimes trials? These questions will be addressed in a unique day-long symposium, one week before the judges announce their verdict in the Dujail Trial.

Lecture Series

Frederick K. Cox International Law Center

Subject Headings

Iraqi High Tribunal; Iraqi High Trial and fair trial; due process and Iraqi High Trial; Saddam Hussein trial; war crimes trial; international criminal tribunal; fair trial standards

Document Type