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.
Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)
- Special Tribunal for Lebanon
- narrative analysis
- absence and presence
- international criminal justice