Table of Contents

Research Handbook on International Law and Terrorism

Research Handbook on International Law and Terrorism

Research Handbooks in International Law series

Edited by Ben Saul

This Handbook brings together leading scholars and practitioners to examine the prolific body of international laws governing terrorism. It exhaustively covers the global response to terrorism in transnational criminal law, the international law on the use of force, international humanitarian law, international human rights law, the law of State responsibility, the United Nations Security Council, General Assembly, UN specialised bodies, and regional organisations. It also addresses special legal issues in dealing with terrorism such as gender, religion, victims of terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, and customary law.

Chapter 37: The United Nations Special Tribunal for Lebanon: Prosecuting terrorism

Guénaël Mettraux

Subjects: law - academic, human rights, public international law, terrorism and security law, politics and public policy, human rights, terrorism and security


At approximately 12:30 on 14 February 2005, former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri walked out of Parliament in the centre of Beirut. Twenty or so minutes later, he and his escort departed in six vehicles. Shortly before 13:00, as the convoy drove by the St Georges hotel, a huge explosion tore through the convoy killing Rafik Hariri and 21 other persons and injuring countless others. On 15 February 2005, a day after Hariri’s killing, the President of the United Nations Security Council issued a statement on behalf of the Council condemning what he called ‘the 14 February 2005 terrorist bombing in Beirut, Lebanon that killed former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and others’. This statement set in motion a process that eventually resulted in the creation of a Special Tribunal for Lebanon two years later. Efforts to have an Agreement between the United Nations and the Lebanese Government ratified by the Lebanese Parliament came to nothing. As a result, and upon the Lebanese Prime Minister’s urging, on 30 May 2007, acting pursuant to Chapter VII of the Charter, the Security Council decided that the provisions of that un-ratified Agreement and of the Tribunal’s Statute attached thereto would enter into force on 10 June 2007, unless the Government provided notification pursuant to Article 19(1) of the Agreement prior to that date that Parliament had ratified the Agreement.

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