Chicago Journal of International Law


This Comment analyzes the legal standards international tribunals apply when assessing the credibility of defendants' claims that testimonial evidence against them was improperly obtained. Section II focuses on existing rules of evidence and procedure in international and regional tribunals, examining the standards for admissibility of evidence in the tribunals' treaties and, where available, in their jurisprudence. Section III examines the national practices of several common and civil law countries that have established and tested rules that can help to inform international courts' procedures. This examination of national practices is not intended to be exhaustive and only reflects the domestic law of select nations, but it nonetheless helps to inform the analysis. Section IV weighs the benefits and pitfalls of establishing a standard for the judicial assessment of challenged testimonial evidence in the international courts. Section V concludes that requiring judges in international tribunals to first assess the credibility of allegations of improper conduct, and then to exclude the statements only if he finds the allegations to be true, will ensure that voluntary and validly obtained statements are admitted into international criminal trials.