Time for justice? Reflections on narrative absences and presences in the Special Tribunal for Lebanon’s Ayyash decision

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

After a tumultuous inception and drawn-out in absentia trial, the Trial Chamber of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon finally handed down its key judgment in August 2020. This article offers a critical appraisal of the tribunal and the decision, first, by situating the finding within Lebanon’s political context and, second, by adopting a close narrative reading of the text itself. It argues that the judgment is structured around a series of presences and absences that build the Chamber’s narrative about post-civil war Lebanon and its need for justice. The article suggests that, while the Chamber succeeds in convicting one of the co-accused for his role in the terrorist conspiracy to assassinate Rafiq Hariri, it fails to produce a convincing narrative about the role of international criminal justice in the fractured polity of modern Lebanon.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberchac067
Pages (from-to)1213-1242
Number of pages30
JournalEuropean Journal of International Law
Volume33
Issue number4
Early online date30 Jan 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Jan 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Special Tribunal for Lebanon
  • narrative analysis
  • absence and presence
  • international criminal justice
  • Lebanon

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