Hastings Law Journal


Alex C. Lakatos


The ongoing civil war in the former Yugoslavia is notorious for ethnically motivated human rights violations, including the use of mass rape as a weapon of war. In response to these abuses, the United Nations created an International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia since 1991.

In his Note, the author analyzes the Rules of Evidence and Procedure governing the Tribunal with an eye toward protecting the needs of female rape victims who will eventually testify before the Tribunal. Because shielding rape victims from the trauma of assaultive cross-examination may require limiting defendants' confrontation rights, the author searches for any customs or principles of international law that may serve the interests of both defendants and victims. The author concludes by suggesting modifications in the Tribunal's Rules of Procedure and Evidence that might further protect witnesses without sacrificing truth seeking or the Tribunal's integrity.

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